Farmer promotes ferret frequency: Andrew Brown tunes in to an animal 'evangelist' at Cheshire's Game Fair
Friday 24 July 1992
'They want love and affection. They need meat, not bread and milk,' he told a sympathetic audience at the Game Fair in Tabley Park, Cheshire.
Mr Ludlow, who farms 300 acres (120 hectares) in the Chilterns, was helping out at the stand of the National Ferret Welfare Society, a body which claims 900 members, some from Sweden and America, where ferrets have been raised for their fur.
He grew agitated at the thought of the cruelties inflicted on ferrets in the past, when they were kept in small cages, or had their canine teeth broken off to prevent them from settling down to a snack in the rabbit warrens.
'There's an answer to that now]' he cried, and produced a ferret detector from a cardboard box. It is a sort of modified baby alarm. The ferret wears a collar round its neck which contains a small radio transmitter powered by a hearing-aid battery.
The owner has a radio receiver tuned to the ferret frequency: if the animal vanishes underground, he just walks to where the signal is strongest, and then digs straight down until he finds it.
Mr Ludlow has kept ferrets himself for more than 20 years. At the moment, he has three of his own, and several more which had been rescued by the RSPCA after their owners abandoned them.
Mr Ludlow's ferrets are used for rabbit control: the technique has not changed since the Romans brought ferrets to this country to help manage the rabbits they had themselves introduced. The rabbit is chased into a purse net, where it traps itself until killed.
'How long', Mr Ludlow asked, 'is the hair on the back of a wild rabbit?' Various people gave their best guesses. 'No]' he replied: 'about four seconds, until it realises its mistake and apologises - ha ha ha ha. I told you ferreters had more fun than people who practise the other country sports.'
- 2 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent answer to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Mafia's wall of silence broken: Victim of Cosa Nostra's extortion rackets in its Corleone heartland co-operates with authorities for the first time ever
Amal Clooney gives excellent answer to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Sir David Attenborough interview: The one question about life that still baffles him
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Louise Mensch says 'F**K YOU' in explosive tweets about David Cameron, Saudi Embassy and the Queen over King Abdullah tributes
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: This post arises as a result of the need to...
£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...