The government responded to this petition when it received 10,000 signatures. Unfortunately, the government’s response was so inaccurate and selective that it appears to represent a deliberate attempt to mislead the public.  There are four key inaccuracies in the government response:

(1)The response claims that recent experience in Gloucestershire, Somerset, and Dorset has shown that licensed culling “is safe, humane and effective in reducing the number of badgers needed to bring down disease levels in cattle”. This statement conflicts sharply with the available evidence. An Independent Expert Panel (IEP) established by Defra to evaluate the first year of culling concluded that the free shooting approach did not meet their standards for humaneness1. When a second year of culling yielded no evidence of improvement, the British Veterinary Association called for free shooting to be abandoned2. Ministers responded by simply stating that “we don’t agree”3. The government’s claim that licensed culling is “humane” is thus not shared by respected authorities on animal welfare.

Likewise, evidence indicates that the culls have not been “effective in reducing the number of badgers”. Defra has repeatedly stated an intention to reduce badger numbers by at least 70%, relative to their pre-cull levels, acknowledging that failing to do so would risk increasing cattle TB rather than reducing it4. The IEP concluded that the first culls fell far short of that aim1. Since then, Defra has reiterated its aim of reducing badger numbers by “at least 70%”, while quietly setting targets with only a slim possibility of achieving this aim5. Defra’s claim that the culls are “effective” is thus not consistent with available evidence.

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The advancement of man has seen us walk on the moon and fly by Jupiter to look for new life, yet we destroy the very life that supports the planet we currently inhabit. 

Wildlife has been on this planet for hundreds of millions of years and co-existed with its prey and its predators. The flora and fauna that exists has created a world that humans could evolve in; a little more than 20 thousand years ago, humans appeared in our current form. 

On a clock face of the history of our planet, we arrived at around two seconds before midnight, yet the devastation we have caused is immeasurable and, I can only hope, reversible. It is the Anthropocene age (the age of man) and we should not be proud. We have removed species at an ever increasing rate. We give lip service to tick box legislations, that allows the removal of wildlife habitats for human ventures, yet offers no alternative. It is sentencing wild animals to a slow and painful, but sure death.  

Our 17 species of UK bats have life expectancies of 15 - 40 years. They learn directly from their parents where it is safe, where to feed and where to hibernate; over generations the colony grows stronger through that accumulated knowledge. If you remove the habitat they will be destroyed and generations of survival knowledge will be removed along with it. This applies to all our species as we destroy habitats all over the UK with no second thought for its inhabitants - the majority do not just relocate. 

The Anthropocene age is with us and is devastating our wildlife. It is up to us to fight for the protection of animals and to unite in the common goal. We must reduce the impact we have made to the planet and that time to fight is now. 

Don’t curse the darkness, make that one change in your life now. We partnered good friend Louis Psihoyos in his shocking film ‘Racing Extinction’. We are in the Anthropocene age (the age of man) and it’s still in mans power to change our future but you must act today… Watch this film, be shocked and make that change NOW. 

Anne Brummer

CEO Save Me Trust 

 

 

 Eat less meat 

 

Don’t curse the darkness, light one candle

 

The last frog 

 

Time is running out 

 

Saturday 22nd  October 2016

Just a word or two to say thanks so much for all your lovely words and wishes dear folks.

I got myself in a very depleted state and have taken the decision now to clear my diary of everything until the end of the year. I'm leaving today on a big steel bird to spend some time recharging in a safe place. Need to turn off the phones and media for a while.

Apologies to everyone involved in the things I will miss. I have to get away and prioritise healing - sometimes there is no choice.

Bless ya all.

Love Bri

 

Friday  21st  October  2016

Brian and Kerry Christmas Concert Tour 2016 

We’re very sad today to announce the indefinite postponement of our ‘candlelight’ concert dates this coming December.  This is a decision I’ve agonized over, but in the end it has become inevitable. I managed to complete the recent Queen and Adam Lambert dates in Asia but I have been increasingly battling with a persistent illness which is destroying my energy and my will.  

I am now at the point where I don’t feel confident to perform the scheduled shows to the standard we all expect. I’ve been strongly advised to rest and heal, rather than go out and risk ‘falling down on the job’ out there, which would be a real tragedy. I’m convinced it’s much better taking the step to cancel the dates now, refunding the fans for the ticket sales, and giving all our team a chance to re-plan their time in December.   

Sincere apologies to all. 

Bri

 

Friday  21st  October  2016

PRESS RELEASE: BRIAN MAY AND KERRY ELLIS CANCEL DECEMBER CONCERT DATES

Brian and Kerry Christmas Concert Tour 2016

Brian May and Kerry Ellis today announced with great regret the indefinite postponement of their December concert dates in the UK. May and Ellis were set to perform 11 ‘Candlelight Concerts’ in the three weeks leading up to Christmas. Apologizing to fans through a personal message posted on his official website, (www.brianmay.com) Queen’s Brian May explains that he is fighting ‘a persistent illness which is destroying my energy and my will’, and doesn’t feel confident to perform the shows to the standard expected.

May comments: “I’m gutted to have to pull out - I hate letting our loyal fans down. But the advice I have had is that I must take time off to heal, rather than go out on tour again and risk falling down on the job, which would be much worse.”

Kerry Ellis comments: "Brian is a dear friend of mine and obviously his health must come first. I was so looking forward to touring the UK again with Brian. I know so many of you had bought tickets for an early Christmas treat, and I am truly sorry that we are letting so many of you down. But we will be back next year for sure, with new music for you all to hear.”

A consolation for disappointed fans is a newly recorded studio album from May and Ellis, titled ‘Anthems II’, which is scheduled for release in March.

All tickets already purchased are fully refundable at point of purchase.

 

SOAPBOX PAGE -  Brian’s apology
 
BRIAN NEWS PAGE - Press Release at
 
Both connect to each other.
 
The Soapbox apology item is flagged also on Home Page 

 

 

 
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... Dr. Hayato Sakurai, Curator .

We want a total ban on ‘Third Party Sales of Puppies‘ to bring an end to puppy farming.

Approximately 1.5 million dogs are sold in pet shops and they are most likely from puppy farms. Almost half the people who buy a puppy never see the mum. Puppies are mostly bred on farms in awful conditions, many from sick and injured mums. Around one in five puppies bought from pet shops or the internet suffer from parvovirus; an often fatal disease which can cost up to £4,000 to treat.

If you don't buy them, they can’t do this……………don't complete the cycle. Ask #WheresMum

The Kennel Club says that ‘A puppy farmer is defined as a high volume breeder who breeds puppies with little or no regard for the health and welfare of the puppies or their parents. A puppy farmer's main intent is profit. As a result, they typically separate puppies from their mothers too early (8 weeks is generally recommended), ignore guidelines about the maximum frequency of litters (the Kennel Club will not normally register more than four litters from any one bitch because of concerns that the current legal limit of six litters per bitch can be potentially detrimental to a dog's welfare), provide inadequate socialisation of puppies, sell puppies through third parties (i.e. away from the environment in which they are raised), keep puppies in poor husbandry conditions and fail to follow breed specific health schemes or to apply basic, routine health measures such as immunisation and worming. As a result, the puppies bred by puppy farmers are more likely to suffer from common, preventable, infectious diseases, painful or chronic inherited conditions, behavioural issues and shorter life spans.

According to the most recent Kennel Club Puppy Awareness Week (PAW) survey, one in five dog owners spend a lot more on vet's fees than they anticipated when first buying a dog. This increases to more than one in three (38%) when the puppy is supplied by a pet shop. In total 41% of people who have bought a puppy in the last year did not see the puppy with its mother and 53% did not see its breeding environment, meaning those puppies are highly likely to have been bred by puppy farmers and sold by third parties (2014 Kennel Club PAW survey).

Breeding of Dogs Act 1973

The Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 (as amended by the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999) licences breeding establishments and the sale of dogs.  This legislation set out a regime for local authorities to license and inspect dog breeding establishments within their jurisdiction, which should have gone some way to tackle puppy farming.

However, problems with enforcement have meant that it has not curbed the activity of puppy farmers as local authorities lack the resources and expertise to properly address poor breeding practices and current guidance on selling puppies in pet shops is unclear.

Current legislation has not curbed puppy farming. We want the law to change so that every puppy (and kitten) has to be sold with it’s mum. We believe this will effect between 40 and 80,000 puppies immediately. It will halt the importation of poor and weak puppies from puppies farms in the UK and abroad.

If you don't buy them, they won't do this.

DO

  • Ask to see the puppy’s mother, which should be present.
  • See the puppy in its breeding environment and ask to look at the kennelling conditions, if they were not raised within the breeder’s house. If you suspect the conditions are not right, then do not buy the puppy.
  • For a pedigree puppy always go to reliable and reputable Kennel Club Assured Breeders which you can find here. If you want to find breeders currently with puppies visit the Kennel Club's Find a Puppy website here. Assured Breeders will appear at the top of the search with purple scheme logos next to their name. Click here for more information on the Kennel Club Assured Breeders Scheme, or call 0844 463 3980.
  • Be prepared to be put on a waiting list – a healthy puppy is well-worth waiting for.
  • Ask if you can return the puppy if things don’t work out. Responsible and reputable breeders will always say yes.
  • Be suspicious of a breeder selling more than one (maximum two) breed, unless you are sure of their credentials.
  • Consider alternatives to buying a pedigree puppy like getting a rescue dog or pup. Click here to find a rescue puppy.

DON’T

  • Buy a puppy from a pet shop – these have often come from puppy farms.
  • Pick your puppy up from a ‘neutral location’ such as a car park or motorway service station. This is a common tactic used by puppy farm dealers.
  • Buy a puppy because you feel like you’re rescuing it. You’ll only be making space available for another poorly pup to fill.
  • Be fooled by a Kennel Club pedigree certificate. These are often faked by puppy farmers who are already operating illegally and have no qualms about forging paperwork. The majority of puppy farmers will not register their litters with the Kennel Club. If in doubt check with the Kennel Club.

Buy from a rescue or a registered breeder and always make sure ‘mum’ is there when you see the puppy. Mum will be confident with her pups and will not be nervous around them.  

Let’s change the law and the lives of these forgotten mums and puppies. 

Make it law to buy a puppy ONLY with it’s mum present. 

 

PupAid Campaign click here

Cariad Campaign click here 

IFAW  Campaign  click here      #NoMumNoSale

RSPCA click here

”It goes without saying that the import of animal body parts as trophies should be banned outright by the British Government. I'm really shocked that they haven't already done it, in truth, the whole world should do it.” Dr. Brian May Founder of The Save Me Trust.

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The most extreme version of trophy hunting is “Canned Hunting”. The animals which are born in captivity are taken away from their mothers within hours of being born so they can be used in petting zoos. When they become of age they then spend the rest of their life in caged compounds waiting to be released in a larger compound for the so called ‘canned’ hunt. 

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The season for red grouse shooting starts today. Tens of thousands of red grouse will be shot over the next two months covering the Moors of Britain in rivers of blood.

The shooting estates claim that grouse shooting is a traditional field sport but that isn’t true. The claim is similar to that made by the Countryside Alliance to defend fox hunting, but grouse shooting has a terrible impact on the environment and other wildlife to the cost of every taxpayer and 70% of the nation’s homes.

Read more

It's been three years since the first saplings were planted in May's Wood in Dorset by people who came along voluntarily to help Doctor Brian May realise his dream of creating a native woodland. On September 28th 2013, hundred's gathered to listen enthusiastically as 'Dr Brian' shared his vision of a place where wildlife and humans could enjoy the peace and tranquillity that trees and meadows can provide. "It was truly one of the most memorable and different days of my life." Dr May said after he had mingled happily with the eager participants, mainly from the nearby villages of Bere Regis and Shitterton.

Read more

In the North of England and Scotland, the shooting of game birds and mammals is widespread. Habitat and 'predator management' are undertaken to increase game abundance and hunting bags and thus profits.

The Grouse moor managers and Gamekeepers claim major conservation benefits as a result of traditional and 'sympathetic' moorland management. They say if the control of generalist predators by gamekeepers ceased, lapwing and golden plover numbers would drop by 81% and curlew by 47% within 10 years.

So what is really happening?

Red Grouse

Red Grouse is a subspecies of Willow Ptarmigan, a species with low breeding densities (0.1 to 10 pairs per km2) across northern Europe, northern Eurasia and North America.  However, in the UK - where intensive habitat management, predator control and routine medication are used on Grouse Moors - there is an exceptionally high population of 150 to 500 birds per km2 (post-breeding densities).

The Red Grouse are bred to be driven or flushed over static lines of shooters, for sport, for fun and for profit. 

The management of British Grouse Moors takes place in an environment in which landowners set their own bag (Kill) limits and establish the management to deliver these targets, with the Government only regulating quarry species, hunting season and permitted hunting methods. There is no statutory requirement for hunters to report their bags, although records are collected by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), whose links to the shooting and hunting groups are well reported. 

This combination of intensive shooting practice and weak regulation is unique to the UK and highlights the issues that arise from weak regulation and monitoring.

Red Grouse Shooting

The Red Grouse season that runs from 12th August until 10th December annually is considered the prestige event in the shooting calendar. Grouse are driven by lines of ‘beaters’ to fly over a row of shooters who expect to kill more grouse in a day (30 to 40 each) than on a ‘walked-up’ shoot, where hunters walk in line using dogs to “flush" grouse to ‘the guns’. Most of this shooting takes place on private land and large fees are expected. 

A ‘Shooting area' of approximately 850,000 hectares (Douglas et al., 2015) and a dramatic increase in Red Grouse population - 90% increase from 171 per km2 (1991 to 1994) to 325 per km2 (2010 to 2014) in England and a 74% increase from 81 to 141 per km2 over the same period in Scotland - has resulted in increased disease. Red Grouse are vulnerable to strongylosis, a disease caused by the gastrointestinal nematode Trichostrongylustenuis which depresses body condition, may cause death and can reduce brood sizes and population densities (Redpath et al., 2006). Red Grouse are also susceptible to louping ill, a virus causing encephalomyelitis in sheep that is also carried by wild mammals such as hares and deer; it is transmitted by the tick (Ixodes ricinus (Watson & Moss, 2008)).

Predator Control

Gamekeepers openly kill predators of grouse to maximise the shootable surplus. Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), Stoat (Mustela erminea) Weasel (Mustela nivalis) and various corvid species are shot and trapped legally. However, illegal trapping, shooting, snaring and poisoning of protected birds of prey, such as Hen Harriers and protected mammals also takes place. To reduce the infection risk from louping ill, some gamekeepers routinely shoot Mountain Hares and Red Deer (Cervus elaphus (Watson & Moss, 2008, Newborn & Baines, 2012)).

There is no evidence that culling Mountain Hares and Red Deer reduces the risk as both ticks and louping ill virus persists even when tick hosts occur at very low densities (Gilbert et al., 2001, Harrison et al., 2010), so the scientific case for culling Mountain Hares is weak (Werritty et al., 2015).

The illegal killing of Raptors, especially Hen Harriers has raised awareness of the issues of grouse hunting and we are supporting Mark Avery and Chris Packham highlighting the industries desire to kill Raptors to protect their investment in Red Grouse. 

The illegal use of poisons to kill predators is a regular practice for Gamekeepers who actively manage moors for grouse shooting (Whitfield et al., 2003). Hen Harriers are almost entirely absent from driven grouse moors across the UK. Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) and Red Kites (Milvus milvus) have been illegally killed in Scotland, predominantly in areas managed for grouse shooting (Whitfield et al., 2006 & 2007, Smart et al., 2010). The breeding performance of Peregrines (Falco peregrinusis) is lower on grouse moors than any other habitats in the UK, with 66% of pairs failing to produce any young, even though clutch and brood sizes of successful nests do not differ between grouse moors and other habitats (Amar et al., 2012).

Mark Avery, former RSPB Director said; ”Grouse shooting is all about killing wildlife. The point is to kill lots of Red Grouse for fun and depends on the killing of huge numbers of foxes, stoats, weasels, crows etc. Too often, protected species are killed too because they eat Red Grouse. 2600 pairs of Hen Harriers should nest in the UK but there are only circa 600 because of illegal persecution by grouse shooting interests".

Grouse Moor Management

Red Grouse depend on moorland habitats comprising of blanket bog and heath beyond the limits of enclosed agriculture (Watson & Moss, 2008). These habitats and the breeding bird populations they support in the UK are of international conservation importance (Thompson et al., 1995), with large areas protected under national and international law. Moorlands also provide regulatory and cultural ecosystem services. That means the Estate owners are being subsidised by the UK taxpayer to maintain these vitally important habitats and eco-systems. 

Critically, these Moors provide 70% of drinking water in Britain, and support peatlands in England and Scotland that are the largest carbon store in the UK, amounting to almost 1800 Mt (Bonn et al., 2009, Chapman et al., 2009 & Alonso et al., 2012).

Burning and Vegetation control

Whilst Estate Managers claim traditional and sympathetic control of the land, Red Grouse need young, nutritious Heather shoot tips (Calluna vulgaris) and use older, deeper heather for nesting and protective cover. Vegetation is burned on rotation to create and maintain a mosaic of different ages of heather and other dwarf shrubs to benefit grouse (Hudson, 1992). Reductions in grazing densities of sheep and deer and control of Bracken (Pteridium aquiline) by herbicide spraying are also used to maintain heather dominance (Grant et al., 2012).

Burning reduces nesting cover for birds such as the Merlin (Falco columbarius), Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus). Dominant heather cover disfavours species associated with grassy moorland such as Skylark (Alauda arvensis) and Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis (Tharme et al., 2001, Pearce-Higgins & Grant, 2006)), and prevents successional recovery of scrub and woodland and its associated biodiversity (Watson & Moss, 2008). 

The intensive management of Moors for Grouse has seen burning rotations becoming much shorter, and the number of annual burns is increasing. Moorlands overlying deep peat soils - that often support blanket bog and wet heath - are routinely burned (Yallop et al., 2006, Douglas et al., 2015). This occurs in protected areas, despite government regulations (Scottish Government, 2011; see Appendix S1), and the fact that repeated burning of blanket bog is inconsistent with international responsibilities to maintain and restore blanket bog to favourable conservation status. As a result, only 14% of UK upland peatland habitats are in good condition (Committee on Climate Change, 2015) because burning of blanket bog and wet heath can lead to long-term loss of bog-forming Sphagnum mosses in favour of Heather (Glaves et al., 2013). The result is degradation or loss of peat formation and carbon sink conditions (Garnett et al., 2000, Ward et al., 2007).

Burning also impacts water supply with associated economic consequences. It causes DOC (dissolved organic carbon) and water discolouration. The water companies have to clean the water and their customers bear the cost - (that’s you and me - Mr and Mrs Householder (Grayson et al., 2012)). 

The increase in floods in recent years is not a coincidence. The removal of surface vegetation also increases run-off so that in the most intense rainfall events, flow peaks downstream are exacerbated (Holden et al., 2015). 

The Grouse shooting industry make bold and exaggerated claims of the benefits it brings to UK Plc but these are weak and easily dismissed. 

UK taxpayers are paying to maintain a bio-diverse habitat, rich in flora and fauna, that is vital for our water supply and flood defences as well as local and international conservation importance. Yet it is being transformed into a sterile monoculture suitable for one species to suit a business venture based on the wholesale murder of Red Grouse for two months every year. And what becomes of those grouse? Most are so full of lead that they are dangerously toxic, they cannot be sold and are therefore buried in pits. 

Mark Avery’s concise summary condemns the Grouse shooting industry. 

”Grouse shooting is simply a hobby, a pastime. If train-spotting wrecked the ecology of the places it occurred then we’d ban it. Grouse shooting requires densities of Red Grouse way above natural levels which are produced by intense predator control, heather-burning and moorland drainage. This unsustainable land management to benefit Red Grouse – which are then shot for fun – short-changes the rest of us."

"Did you know that intensive grouse moor management increases greenhouse gas emissions (and was recently criticised by the Committee on Climate Change), increases water bills (increased water treatment costs are passed on to customers), increases flood risk (hills hold waterless well and flood risk and home insurance costs increase) and decreases aquatic biodiversity (bad news for fishermen downstream of grouse moors)?"

"Claims that shooting benefits the economy are terribly weak – the sums are exaggerated and ignore the costs of ecosystem damage, and so do not give a proper account. Your taxes subsidise the whole sorry activity too."

"Grouse shooting is all about killing wildlife. The point is to kill lots of Red Grouse for fun and depends on the legal killing of huge numbers of foxes, stoats, weasels, crows etc. Too often, protected species are killed too because they are unsporting enough to eat Red Grouse. 2600 pairs of Hen Harrier s should nest in the UK but there are only circus 600 because of illegal persecution by grouse shooting interests.

Further reading: Inglorious - Conflict in the uplands by Mark Avery

On Tuesday 26th April 2016, Dr Brian May and Anne Brummer launched a joint campaign to save Britain's hedgehogs in Portcullis House, London. The campaign is called #AmazingGrace in honour of Grace a rescue hedgehog that came into Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue last autumn, underweight and suffering from 'fly-strike' in a deep wound to her neck.

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In 2015, Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon announced her government would hold a review of the Protection of Wild Mammals Act 2002. In December, it was confirmed that the review would be led by Lord Bonomy with a consultation process starting in February and finishing by the end of March.

As part of the Team Fox coalition of wildlife groups, The Save Me Trust agreed to submit to the consultation, working closely in conjunction with the League Against Cruel Sports (Scotland) and a wide range of local groups based in Scotland who have detailed information on the antics of Scottish hunt packs.

Our submission suggested three main changes to the current act. They are:

1. Reduce the number of dogs allowed to ‘flush to guns’ to a maximum of two. 

2. Introduce a “recklessness” clause to the Act. This would stop Scottish hunts adopting ‘Trail Hunting’ which is viewed by Hunts in England and Wales as a short term solution to keep the infrastructure of Hunts intact, whilst they seek repeal of the English & Welsh Hunting Act. 

3. Introduce a vicarious liability clause to the Act. Scotland has taken the lead on the introduction of this, in respect of the protection of raptors and we believe that extending the clause to include wild mammals would reduce the possibilities of illegal hunting immediately. Landowners will seriously consider their responsibilities and the hunts previous conduct before granting access to their land. We further believe that many private estates do not benefit or support hunting but allow it to continue as it is the line of least resistance. Landowners should have the support of the law to stop any illegal hunting on their land whilst accepting their culpability should they allow a hunt do so illegally.

It is our strong belief that the introduction of the three clauses above would have an immediate and devastating impact for those who wish to hunt illegally with hounds. We further believe that Scotland led the UK with the introduction of the protection of Wild Mammal Act 2002 and the timely review of the operation of the act. This will provide the opportunity to again lead whilst demonstrating to England and Wales that the overwhelming majority of the British public (84% in the LACS Poll of December 2015) want to see hunting of wild mammals with dogs banned completely throughout the UK.

In the UK, we have a long history of reform brought about by peaceful protest - from the ‘Chartists’ and suffrages, the abolition of slavery, to the reform of our parliamentary system. We are deeply concerned about the comments of the National Farmers Union last week that claimed information relating to the badger cull being published was variously, “illegal activity, attempting to intimidate farmers” and the “reprehensible” action of “leaking information which could lead to farming families being targeted”.  

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The Save Me Trust are aware of a series of horrific incidents. We are primarily concerned with wild animals but feel that this case is so appalling and local that we should support finding this barbaric killer of animals.

Please contact us with any information that you may have.

Grace was found with a neck wound. She was treated for fly strike (myiasis) and her deep cut cleaned. Some of the fly eggs were found inside her mouth. Fly eggs can hatch into maggots just eight hours after being laid and immediately start feeding on their host. In nature, this process is essential to remove dead and decaying wildlife from the environment, but on a live animal it is usually fatal. Nature is harsh but effective.

Grace recovered with the usual fight we see from hoglets. They are strong and stoic and fight against most adversities. 

At the rescue we have treated hedgehogs for over 30 years and during that time the reason for admission has changed dramatically. Hedgehogs are extremely susceptible to lungworm due to its increase in the environment. Gardens have become fortresses, keeping hedgehogs restricted and preventing their roaming to find food, nesting sites and mates, causing small populations to become isolated and more vulnerable to local extinction. 

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