WILDLIFE lovers throughout the UK are being asked to join a mass lobby designed to save from death thousands of hedgehogs on the Scottish island of Uist.
The Uist mammals have been sentenced to death because they eat the eggs of rare ground-nesting birds - and that has led to a bizarre confrontation between two highly-respected conservation charities, the huge Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the small but very vocal British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS).
The BHPS, although it acknowledges that the hedgehogs are a serious threat to rare waders and other birds, wants the animals re-located to other areas rather than killed.
The bird lovers, however, say that such a relocation would cause the hedgehogs intense suffering, causing the deaths of many, so it is better that they meet a swift, painless end.
Next month, Scottish Natural Heritage will meet to make the final life-or-death decision and the hedgehog society are asking mammal lovers everywhere to join a mass lobby in favour of relocation.
Anyone wishing to join in is asked to write to:
John Markland, Chairman, Scottish Natural Heritage, 12 Hope Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 2AS and Superintendent Mike Flynn, Operation Support, SSPCA, Braehead Mains, 603 Queensferry Rd, Edinburgh EH64 6EA.
RSPB members also in favour of relocation are urged to contact the society at The Lodge, Sandy, Beds SG19 2DL.