London’s biggest parks have been accused of ‘callous slaughter’ after figures have revealed that over 10,000 wild animals have been killed by rangers in the last four years.
The Royal Parks authority have eight open spaces, these include Hyde Park and Richmond Park. Since January 2013 rangers have exterminated more than 8,400 animals, including: 1,734 deer; 2,657 rabbits; 3,679 squirrels and 330 foxes.
Animal rights campaigners, Animal Aid have urged the Royal Parks to adopt alternatives to culling such as removing food sources for problem species and urging members of the public against feeding them. It is suggested that the removal of some species, such as foxes is pointless because it will simply cause others to move into the area.
Long-standing government policy also advises against culling, stating that the ‘most effective strategies have primarily relied on non-lethal methods’.
Over 77 million people visit these parks every year, and for many of them these visits offer a rare opportunity to see and interact with wild animals.
A spokesperson for the Royal Parks insists ‘humane’ culling is essential to maintaining ecological diversity in its open spaces.
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