ANOTHER VIEW; Hands off our ruddy ducks

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The Independent Online
What's wrong with Ruddy Ducks? Why have conservation groups including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds combined to cull these birds by shooting them?

The answer is that they are foreign - not British or even European.

There is nothing wrong with them as ducks. Indeed some of them are quite decent, well groomed and good-looking. But they do not always behave well: they try to get off with our own nice little European ducks with white heads. The problem with the European lady ducks is that they are rather naive - they are easily deceived by these glamorous foreigners and they fall for them. This upsets some Euro-ornithologists who, naturally, want to stand up for what is right and proper.

Possibly the celebration of VE Day has brought back memories. The Ruddy Ducks are seen as GIs - over-plumed, over-sexed and over here. Just as the GIs showed a desire to interbreed with the natives, so do the Ruddy Ducks. What is more they are Americans too! The trouble with Americans - and make no mistake, many of my best friends are American - is that they are a tiny bit vulgar.

Of course, breeds have always tended to mingle at the edges. But for those of us who are concerned about purity, this sort of thing cannot be approved. Nature must be subjugated to civilised rules of behaviour: it is rather like all those foreign plants we have to get rid off - rhododendrons, redwoods, eucalyptus - not to mention wheat, barley, beans, pears, peaches and almost everything else that grows. Come to think of it, what did grow 10,000 years ago under the ice cap that covered Britain? Well if there was anything, then that is what we should have, because that is British. I mean we had rhinos and sabre-tooth tigers and dinosaurs if you go far back enough back. They are obviously thoroughly British and so are alright and should be reintroduced if possible. But grey squirrels and Ruddy Ducks are American and dormice are Roman so they all ought to be stamped out.

Of all the important conservation and animal welfare issues facing us today, the suffering of these ducks is clearly the most demanding of attention. Nothing but the death penalty will do. The extermination of foreigners may sound extreme to some people, but that is because they have grown soft under the invidious influence of Brussels. Why worry about the thousands of calves stifling in dark little boxes in France? Why be concerned at whales taking 30 minutes to die impaled by Norwegian harpoons, when there are Ruddy Ducks getting it off with ours? Come to think of it why worry about Rwanda or Serbia or unemployment when you can blow a lot of money on blasting away with shotguns at American interlopers.

Thank God there are still some people who get their priorities right!

The writer is an animal welfare campaigner with the Political Animal Lobby.