A company claiming to sell products including “hedgehog killer” and “badger killer” has been heavily criticised by those in the animal welfare community.
Ferber Painting lists the products and many other “killer” baits on their website. They describe their hedgehog-killing brand as the “fastest method [for] instant hedgehog elimination”.
TV Presenter and Conservationist Chris Packham tweeted: “This is horrific - you should be utterly ashamed”.
Wildlife Campaigner Dominic Dyer said: “Dear @FerberPainting can you explain why you are selling a poison product online in UK to kill a protected species. Any badger poisoning would be illegal & could result in a 6 month prison sentence”.
ITV News approached the company for comment.
It trades from a website ending .co.uk but a phone number and address suggests it is based in the United Arab Emirates.
Speaking to the firm in the UAE, they told ITV News the hedgehog product is “a bait. If you want to use it it works with a trap. The bait doesn’t kill the hedgehog itself it’s the trap that will kill the hedgehog”.
We explained that it’s illegal to kill hedgehogs in the UK as they are a protected species and were told “we are not based in the UK. For us we have the right to sell bait… this is food for hedgehogs it’s not illegal to sell food”.
Although the company claim it is bait the packaging and website description clearly says: “Hedgehog Killer…… able to eliminate a hedgehog up to 500g”.
It has very similar wording for badgers and other animals.
ITV News also spoke with someone at the firm’s address in the US state of Delaware. They hung up.
A blog post on the company website today says some mammals “are classified as pests because, like rodents, they represent real threats to health, safety, agricultural activities and the various private or public goods and properties”.
It then listed those they believe to be pests - “bats, polecats, foxes, weasels , weasel, raccoon, nutria, badger, marmot, hedgehog, squirrel, raccoon dog, wild boar, beaver, wild rabbit, hare…”
A screenshot from Ferber Painting's blog titled 'What is a pest?'
As badgers and hedgehogs are protected species ITV News has approached DEFRA and the HSE for comment.
A Defra spokesperson said: “Hedgehogs are an iconic British species and are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act – making it illegal to target them with poisoned bait. “Any concerns about illegal products being sold on the market should be reported to the police. Those found guilty of such illegal activities should expect to face the force of the law.”
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