Call to action: Hedgehog legal protection
28th June 2021
Last year BHPS launched a petition to increase the legal protection of hedgehogs. Thanks to so much public support, the petition reached 100,000 signatures this year and will be debated in parliament on Monday 5th July.
We need as much support as possible so please write to your MP and ask them to attend.
- You can find MP contact details HERE.
- Suggested wording for letter HERE (courtesy of BHPS). Remember to include your full name, address and contact number when writing to your MP.
The debate is scheduled for Monday 5th July from 4.30pm to 6pm and will be broadcast online, you can watch it HERE.
Hedgehog legal protection
Hedgehogs are currently protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (schedule 6), as well as the Wild Mammals Protection Act (1996). This makes it illegal to kill or capture them using certain methods, and prohibits cruelty and mistreatment.
However, none of this legislation is actually relevant to any of the key reasons for why hedgehogs are declining. It therefore has limited relevance for the conservation of wild hedgehog populations.
This petition aims to make hedgehogs a schedule 5 species to allow them greater protection. This would ensure that nesting sites as well as hedgehogs themselves are protected from disturbance or harm.
All other ‘vulnerable to extinction’ mammals on the UK red list have schedule 5 protection; hazel dormice, serotine bats, barbastelle bats and Orkney voles. Other schedule 5 terrestrial mammals include red squirrels, water voles, otters and all bat species.