New petition launched to increase legal protection for hedgehogs
2nd October 2020
BHPS’ new petition has reached an incredible 10,000 signatures in less than 24 hours.
Earlier this year, hedgehogs were classified as vulnerable to extinction on the UK red list for mammals. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society have now launched a petition to increase legal protection for hedgehogs to help their numbers recover.
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.
The new 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.