Aide: Prince's squirrels die humanely

June 6, 2009 at 1:36 AM
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LONDON, June 6 (UPI) -- All gray squirrels killed at Prince Charles's estate die humanely, a spokesman for the heir to the British throne said Friday.

The prince angered animal rights activists this week when he said gray squirrels, an import from North America, should be regularly culled in Britain to protect forest areas and the native red squirrel. The news that he practices what he preaches at Highgrove in Gloucestershire, his country home and organic farm, added gasoline to the flames, the UK Express reported.

Charles' office refused to release details on how the squirrels meet their fate.

"We don't poison them or anything like that," one spokesman said. "It's all done humanely."

But animal rights groups called for details.

"Squirrels, gray and red, feel pain," said Ross Minett of Advocates for Animals. "The prince has a duty to publish exactly what methods are used to cull gray squirrels on his estate."

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