Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

Animal group hits out at Bristol Delicatessen for selling Squirrel meat

Release date: 
Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A BRISTOL delicatessen has been accused of cashing in on 'wildlife massacre' for selling Squirrel - by Europe's largest campaigning vegetarian group, Viva!, also based in the city. Viva! say At Source Delicatessen in St Nicholas Market are supporting the barbaric and needless 'cull' of thousands of grey Squirrels across the UK, alongside the cruel and needless fashion of eating 'wild meat', through the sales. Juliet Gellatley, Viva! founder & director and Zoologist, says: “ 'Culls' of thousands of grey squirrels by so-called 'conservation groups' to boost populations of red squirrels are irrational, inhumane and destined to fail, so it is very sad to see a Bristol-based business cashing in on this wildlife massacre. At Source told a national newspaper that their squirrels are 'humanely trapped,' however, Viva! say across the UK the animals are being killed using a variety of barbaric but legal methods, including being clubbed to death and poisoned with warfarin, which causes the animals to bleed to death over several days. “And aside from this cruelty, research has shown that squirrel culls are destined to fail. Rapid recolonisation and an increase in reproductive rates compensate for losses made by culling, added Juliet. The business also boasts of offering pigs head, venison and eel to its customers. She says: “At Source's motto is apparently, 'good food starts here', specialising in the sale of 'wild meat'. Perhaps they should change that to 'massacred wildlife on sale here'. It is a sad state of affairs when businesses have to lower themselves to supporting the cruel fashion of eating whatever wild animal people can get their hands on in the name of being a 'foodie'. “If they are trying to stand out from the crowd by selling squirrel or venison for example, the only message they are giving out is that they are happy to have the blood of a beautiful wild animal on their hands for the sake of a few quid. “The Westcountry has so much wonderful plant-based seasonal produce to offer, there are hundreds of alternative dishes which they could offer which embrace life, instead of death. ENDS Viva! recently launched a boycott of Prince Charles' Duchy Originals range, in protest at this campaign to eradicate grey squirrels from Cornwall, so that captive-bred red squirrels can be introduced instead. • Native to North America, the grey squirrel was brought to Victorian Britain as an ornamental species by the aristocracy. Today, these highly intelligent and adaptable animals can be seen in woodlands, parks and gardens across the country. • The grey squirrel is a figure of hatred among groups with shooting or forestry interests, and certain 'conservationists' who believe that the mass killing of greys is justifiable in their quest to boost the number of red squirrels. • Ironically, the charges currently laid against grey squirrels - that they damage trees and eat birds' eggs - were once used as justifications to kill hundreds of thousands of red squirrels. But fashions have changed, and now protecting the once-loathed red squirrel is another reason given for killing the grey. • Grey squirrels are killed using a variety of barbaric but legal methods, including being clubbed to death and poisoned with warfarin, which causes the animals to bleed to death over several days. • Red squirrel numbers can be boosted in a number of ways without harming the grey squirrel, including establishing them on islands, changing tree planting patterns and offering supplementary feeding. More information: • For more information or to arrange an interview, call press officer Helen Rossiter or Juliet Gellatley on 0117 944 1000 or Juliet on mobile 07594 943222. • Images of squirrels in the wild are available on request.