I am a pest control manager, with more than 15 years experience. I read the
news story about the man who drowned a grey squirrel (News, 28 July). He absolutely deserved to be prosecuted ? this is not a humane means of despatch. The method I use is to shoot the squirrel in the head with an air rifle while it is still in the cage. The cage should be placed on soft ground to prevent ricochets and the air rifle muzzle velocity should be at least 11ft/lb. The squirrel will tend to run around in the cage when you are near. Instead of following it with the muzzle, keep it in one place and wait until it runs directly underneath, then take the shot.
Too many people are buying airguns and thinking they are master snipers. Many airguns are very low-powered and not up to the job. If you are unsure, take it to a gunshop and ask for it to be chronographed. This will give the muzzle velocity and let you know if it is up to 11ft/lb. If it?s not, do not use it for vermin despatch.
The media also erroneously reported that people were not allowed to control vermin on their land. Using rat traps in fake tunnels on your property and magnum 110 spring traps in specifi cally designed cubby tunnels to control grey squirrels are legal methods of control. The 1995 Spring Trap Approval Order states that traps approved for use in the UK must be placed in tunnels, not set in the open. If you hear a news story about shooting or pest control, it may not be accurate!
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