To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to control and reduce the number of grey squirrels.
The management and control of grey squirrels is a devolved matter.
The Government is committed to working with land owners and other organisations as part of its strategy to support targeted grey squirrel control in the UK.
Defra and the devolved administrations are signatories to the UK Squirrel Accord, which aims to promote a coordinated approach to controlling the grey squirrels and securing the future of our red squirrels and woodlands. Working as part of the UK Squirrel Accord supports the Government to deliver on its grey squirrel action plan for England announced by the Forestry Commission in December 2014.
As part of the Government’s long terms strategy for controlling grey squirrel populations, the Animal and Plant Health Agency is currently exploring the potential for developing a fertility control method for grey squirrels. Defra has provided £39,000 to support the initial stages of this research.