From today's Metro:
A Budgens grocery store in Crouch End, North London is currently selling squirrel meat for £3 each and campaigners claim it is committing ‘wildlife massacre’.
Vegetarians International Voice for Animals (Viva) says Budges are supporting a ‘barbaric and needles cull’ of grey squirrels by allowing the independently-owned Budgens branch to sell the meat.
Viva’s founder Juliet Gellatley said: ‘Culls’ of thousands of grey squirrels by so-called conservation groups to boost populations of red squirrels are irrational, inhumane and destined to fail, so it is very sad that Budges are allowing profit to be made from wildlife massacre.’
Actress and fellow Viva patron Jenny Seagrove also spoke out against the new line of meat, saying it was ‘unbelievable’.
‘Anyone who cares about wildlife, as I do, should be appalled at Budgens for allowing this.’
The popular woodland creatures, which are also a tourist attraction in London parks, were once a staple of the national diet and made into soups, pies and casseroles.
They are said to have a nutty flavour but taste similar to rabbit, and have also been recently sold in various butchers.
One butcher, who sells the meat in Walton, Somerset, sells ten squirrels per week for less than £3 each and told the Daily Mail that customers try it through novelty but come back and buy more.
A spokesperson from Musgrave, which operates Budgens, told the newspaper: ‘As our retailers are independent, they therefore have both the right and ability to secure products that Budgens do not offer for sale, within their individually-owned stores.