Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Mole catcher cause goes to Brussels

The plight of a mole catcher, whose living has been wiped out by Brussels legislation, is to be taken up with the European Parliament.

Peter Brown used to go round 87 farms in Lancashire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire each year catching moles using strychnine - but is no longer allowed to do so.

His case is supported by UKIP and its North West MEP, Paul Nuttall, is now taking the matter up with the EU.

Mr Nuttall is pictured here as he spoke with 57-year-old Mr Brown outside the Stockport office of LibDem MEP Chris Davies, who champions the rules which have destroyed Mr Brown's livelihood.

"I was appalled, but sadly not surprised, to learn about Mr Brown's situation. This is how the EU juggernaut rolls on without thought for those flattened by it," he said.

"He used to use strychnine, as mole catchers have done for 70 years, but now only trapping or the use of aluminum phosphide is allowed. The strychnine used to kill moles within 15 minutes but trapping takes twice as long and aluminum phosphide can take up to two days.

"And the cost of the aluminum phosphide is many times greater than strychnine and according to the manufacturers application is a two man job," said Mr Nuttall.

"Mr Brown has been left high and dry by these rules, brought in under the Biocides Directive and has also drawn a blank in his claim for compensation.

"I intend to pursue this matter with the EU's Petitions Committee which, under Article 194 of the EC Treaty, enables citizens to complain about EU matters which affect them directly," said Mr Nuttall.

Mr Brown, from Shaw, near Oldham, is angry at the way he has been treated and pointed out that a report showed that three children have died from aluminum phosphide poisoning.

"I have been told so much contradictory information by various authorities and given misleading answers that I feel there is a cover-up going on. There should have been a thorough impact study but instead of today's much-hyped 'openness and transparency' there has been a charade of democracy," said Mr Brown.

He has held regular protests outside the office to highlight his campaign for justice and his disgust at Mr Davies' inaccurate claims that moles just push up a few daisies.

"Moles are a pest because they push up soil which can then get into silage and cause potentially fatal listeriosis in cattle and sheep. Humans who eat infected meat can catch listeria," he explained.

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