Work is being undertaken to develop an oral contraceptive for grey squirrels in a bid to cut the numbers of the destructive pest, an environment minister has told peers.
Animal science researchers are also looking at ways to breed infertility into females to humanely curb their population, said Tory frontbencher Lord Goldsmith of Richmond.
Grey squirrels and other non-native invasive species are costing the UK economy about £1.8 billion a year, he added.
Lord Goldsmith outlined the impact of the vermin as he was pressed over the implications for the Government’s target to plant 74,000 acres (30,000 hectares) of new woodland a year across the UK by 2025, which is needed to tackle climate change.
Grey squirrels, originally from North America, were released in Britain by 19th century landowners, … Read the rest...