British Farmers are uniting in an effort to cull the Meerkat population which has established itself in sets up and down the country. Traditional cage trapping, favoured under Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) guidelines, will be substituted by the use of high velocity rifles aimed at sets as the meerkats make an appearance.
A Defra spokesman said, “We are aware that there has been a rise in the meerkat population which farmers are linking to the latest TV outbreak. This is Russian variety and a particularly virulent and noxious one, however the use of guns aimed at sets carries a lot of risks. In particular where there is any human activity in the vicinity.”
But animal rights groups are concerned about the use of high velocity rifles. Sarah Jones-Dunworthy, director of FURFEET, Furry things have Feelings Too said, “The little meerkat is not a huge target and could crawl away injured back into its set for a slow and agonising death. I’m sure farmers wouldn’t want to have that on their minds.”
But farmers disagree. One Shropshire farmer, Richard Giles said, “The little shites are hopping up all over the place and any TV epidemic could spell disaster for us. We are already stressed out with an endless diet of intrusive animal welfare and veterinary programmes.”
The Association of British Insurers, ABI is also concerned about the development and is asking farmers to check their policies in relation to the use of firearms. In a statement they said, “We would definitely encourage farmers to look at the small print of any policy as the use of firearms around sets could null and void any injury claim. We do however recommend that they check sites such as Compare the Market dot com for the best deal. Did we say Compare the Meerkat or Compare the Market? Meerkat? Market? Anyway peoples just go anywhere to find right deal. Simples!”