Annually since April 2003 the hedgehogs of the Uist Islands
(Scotland, UK) are hunted down and killed because they are blamed for the
falling populations of wading birds in the area (as they are thought to eat the
birds’ eggs). Known predators of the wader’s eggs include rats, feral cats,
mink and gulls, yet no culls are aimed or planned at these species.
The Scottish Natural Heritage justify it’s culling policy by
claiming moving wild hedgehogs to the mainland is inhumane, yet there is no
scientific evidence to support this claim. Additionally in response to the
decision to unnecessarily cull the hedgehogs a volunteer-lead rescue project
named “Uist Hedgehog Rescue” was created and has successfully saved, relocated
to the mainland and released over 400 hedgehogs in the last two years. Reports
have even been received of ex-Uist hedgehogs being seen with young the
We, the undersigned, request that the Uist Waders Project
comprising the Scottish Executive, Scottish National Heritage and the Royal
Society for the Protection of Birds cease their annual cull of hedgehogs on
North and South Uist and Benbecula. The cull is cruel and unnecessary as the hedgehogs can be safely relocated.
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