Animal rights campaigners, including the Uist Hedgehog Rescue, claim the killings are inhumane, and have now recruited members of the loony Celebrity arena to support their cause.
Brian May, ex-Queen rock group guitarist and former Middlesex old rope saleman, has written to the SNH chairman John Killemall, outlining his concerns over the cull and questioning why the hedgepigs can’t be translocated.
Rumours have reached the news desk of The Rockall Times that one strategy proposed by the Uist Hedgehog Rescue cadre is to translocate all Hebridean hedgehogs to Rockall.
This sparked instant controversy among the sacred islet’s naturalists who drew comparisons with the red squirrel / gray squirrel dilemma, whereas the introduction of the latter had decimated the indigenous former on the mainland UK.
Ms. Sonica Spineball of the Rockall Insectivora Trust estimated “Our own aboriginal Greater Crested Hedgehogs might well be endangered by an influx of alien Erinaceinae species, especially those nasty Benbecula Vampire Hedgehogs. I once saw a hunting pair bring down a Highland Crumplehorn sheep and rip it’s throat out.”
A partial cull of Rockall’s Greater Crested Hedgehog population several years ago proved an unmitigated disaster when it was discovered their spines were so tightly packed that 12 gauge pellets and .303 rounds simply ricocheted off them. Depleted uranium ballistic projectiles were eventually deployed in the cull, but these too were ineffective, apart from the fact targeted hedgehogs became noctiluminescent and were easier to track and net.
Joining May in the self-promoting Celebrity ranks of hedgehog cull opposition are Sir Paul McCarthorse, Sir Tim Egg Fried Rice, Joanna Lumley and of course, everyone’s second favourite, Sting, whose spiny coiffure bears a close resemblance to a hedgehog’s arse.
Rumours that Bono and Blob Geldork will take a break from their mission to end famine in Africa and bring about World peace, and endorse the anti-hedgehog cull movement are, mercifully, as yet still rumours.