Animal Aid and other animal rights groups have criticised the environment secretary for trapping squirrels at his home near Shrewsbury, in Shropshire.

According to reports, Owen Paterson uses the Kania 2000 trap to cull grey squirrels that have been damaging his trees.

A spokesman for Mr Paterson said: “Programmes for the humane control of grey squirrels have been in place in the UK for more than 40 years. These programmes protect our woodland and wildlife.”

The Country Land & Business Association (CLA) defended the minister, saying that he was right to protect woodland by culling squirrels.

CLA president Harry Cotterell said: “We support the environment secretary in his efforts to protect his trees.

The rest of this article appears in the 1st May issue of Shooting Times.

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