In a kind of a rant, Jeremy Paxman has admitted to enjoying shooting grey squirrels with an air rifle while sat on his crapper with the lid down. Maybe he should do it while having a crap. He said that it’s not cruel because they annoy him and because they ‘kill all sorts of things’. He was being interviewed by Richard Herring.
“Why is it cruel? They’re annoying me….They’re always getting on the bird feeder. I love songbirds and I can’t stand the fact that squirrels are always driving them off. They’re a menace.” – Paxman
Yes, just like people kill all sorts of things, just like you, Paxman. No creature kills more than humans. Although squirrels do kill blue tits and the like and damage trees. They polarise viewpoints: some hate them – ‘rats in trees’ – while others are kind to them, including me. We need to avoid speciesism. Grey squirrels have a right to live like any other animal. Live and let live I say. And be kind not cruel to animals.
Greys were introduced in the UK from America in the late 19th century. They pushed out the prettier red.
It is legal to shoot grey squirrels provided it is done in a humane manner. It is against the law to cause unnecessary suffering to animals. Is Paxman causing unnecessary suffering to grey squirrels when he shoots them?
I think it is hard not to conclude that he is. They might be injured and carry the injury for a long time causing suffering. And is killing them necessary? No. Therefore Paxman is causing unnecessary suffering and so he should be prosecuted under the Wildlife Act 2006. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 does not cover wild animals living in the wild which are not under temporary control of humans.
I think Paxman is behaving like a teenage hooligan. He is like those pain in the arse kids who like to take pot shots at domestic cats. That happens a lot too; too much animal cruelty in the UK.
Paxman has become a bit of a loose cannon in his old age. He also said that newsreaders are completely pointless. He described them as ‘articulated suits’. Just reading a text written by someone else was not something to be proud off he implied.
He seems to have forgotten that there are blind people who rely on the spoken news. And newsreaders also interview people so it is not just reading text. Oh he admits pretty well everything annoys him these days. That’s an old person problem but just because you are annoyed it does not justify causing animal suffering.
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