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Man fined for drowning squirrel

A man has been ordered to pay more than £1,500 after he admitted drowning a grey squirrel, the RSPCA said today.

Raymond Elliot, 58, of Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, was also handed a six-month conditional discharge after he pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

He was ordered to pay the RSPCA's prosecution costs of £1,547 at Burton-upon-Trent Magistrates' Court last Friday.

Today, RSPCA inspector Laura Bryant said: "Drowning an animal is a horrible death and magistrates agreed that it causes unnecessary suffering. Therefore, if you kill a squirrel by drowning you are committing a criminal offence.

"This case has a serious message for anyone who has purchased a trap and then set it in their garden as a way of dealing with squirrels.

"People need to be aware that drowning animals causes suffering. It is a slow, terrifying death and it is against the law to cause this suffering to animals."