Party at the leper colony
Blighty's dwindling population of red squirrels is riddled with leprosy, according to new research. Not full-on leprosy, but leprosy-lite, according to a paper with the Ronseal title of Leprosy in Red Squirrels, published in Science, alongside a report titled Red squirrels in the British Isles are infected with leprosy bacilli …
>Squirrels are just rats with a good PR company.
Probably the same one which bats use (population is riddled with rabies in the UK). H&S regulations require UK bat handlers to have rabies vaccination, American tourists visiting rural UK for a bit of glamping are advised to get the rabies vaccination by doctors. Most UK people totally unaware until they (or more usually their pets) get bitten and the medics scrabble for vaccine.
The Ministry of Agriculture once produced a leaflet which was pure lies from start to finish stating that sciurus carolinensis* was a kind of rat, in the hope that the public would support killing them off instead of feeding them. We had a copy at school which our biology teacher would occasionally wave around as an example of why politicians can't be trusted. DEFRA continues in this fine tradition of making up lies to suit its current political pressures, and never stops to think about why it has zilch credibility.
*The grey squirrel is a squirrel, not a rat, which is why it's sciurus carolinensis and not rattus carolinensis.
DEFRA thinking always seems to follow logical fallacies such as:
All rats are rodents therefore all rodents are rats.
This also explains why they couldn't sort out a simple farm payments system like every other country but had to go for the most complex bureaucratic system with a failed IT solution behind it.
In short they couldn't organise a piss up at a free bar.
@ kyndair "DEFRA thinking always seems to follow logical fallacies such as: All rats are rodents therefore all rodents are rats."
I'd offer the Yes, Minister example of Politician logic from Sir Humphrey:
"All cats have four legs. My dog has four legs; therefore my dog is a cat".
I don't know what's more worrying - how often these dolts put forward such questionable logic or how often us in the electorate fall for it?
my scoutmaster (when I was 11) shot a squirrel when we were on a survival hike. Then he just handed it to us boy scouts to figure out how to cook the thing. It was still choking to death. My suggestion [having read the correct books] of 'starting with the anus' was the correct one, of course, but NOBODY knew how to skin and clean an animal. And squirrels are 99% guts, it seems, with only a few bits of edible meat on their entire body... and it DOES taste kinda like dried up chicken.
My extended family were poorly-funded farm folks a generation ago, when the area was more rural as well. Squirrel was on the menu often then, being plentiful and highly susceptible to a .22 rifle. I don't hunt, but gray squirrels seem like a classic renewable resource, and I've been tempted to "harvest" a few.
But then I researched the details. Even among hunters, squirrels are considered a pain the arse to clean and skin. I'm not dismayed by much, but decided I would reserve that one in case of dire need.
I can't imagine that anyone sane would expect a group of kids to figure it out on their own. Possibly he didn't know how himself and covered it by passing the buck to the kids?
I've got an old recipe for red squirrel that suggests first skinning, gutting (guess they could get a bit gamey otherwise, but YMMV), then rubbing them in salt and pepper, basting with olive oil and grilling.
Sounds intriguing, though I would avoid the ones with warts just to be on the safe side. Unfortunately they (squirrels, not warts) are protected where I live :(
Squirrels? No. Even the grey ones taste vile unless you are cousin Eddie from American Lampoon Christmas Vacation.
You are thinking of European, aka edible doormouse. Glis Glis.
It is genetically closer to squirrels then other doormice. Behaviourally - it is a climbing rat. The pest from hell. Can walk on ceilings and walls, can dig, chews its way even through hardwood and is not afraid of anything either. While other rodents will try to scurry away, this one will try to stare you down and can even jump back and bite.
All squirrels can carry squirrel pox which can infect humans, it is generally fatal toReds but most Greys only carry it. Squirrels can also transmit Lyme disease to humans and carry salmonella. My advice is, don' t kiss any squirrels grey or red, eating is OK if cooked very well, I don't know about reds but grey squirrel is similar to rat.YMMV
squirrels, I'm hunting vegetarians. Not much meat on either but the vege's won't put up as much of a fight.You do know that cattle, sheep, elephants even, are all vegetarian with lots of meat... And if you think elephants don't put up much of a fight you are in for one hell of a surprise.
Perfect timing. May's first opportunity to flout her special relationship with Trumpy to welcome his grey stormtroopers to muscle out the leprous Commie squirrels. Trumpy gets brag about his first major export and foreign invasion and May scores double points for letting Scots know who's still the boss.
The Trumpies and Brexiters will all rejoice.
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