Save our hedgehogs

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The hedgehog population of the U.K. has plummeted from about 50 million to only one or two million in 50 years. According to both Brian May and Steve Backshall, in their recent documentary 'Meet the hedgehogs', one of the biggest single causes of this is the use by gardeners of *Metaldehyde* slug-pellets to kill slugs and snails. Because hedgehogs naturally eat slugs and snails, but when hedgehogs unwittingly try eating any slugs or snails that have been poisoned by slug-pellets, then they also get poisoned. So gardeners may be largely responsible for the hedgehog population crash, themselves (as well as endangering the lives of other garden animals, even their own pets). And the irony is that if gardeners stopped using these dangerous *Metaldehyde* slug-pellets TODAY, then our surviving hedgehogs would get rid of many of the slugs and snails for them... for free!

Another alternative to the natural 'hedgehog' control of slugs and snails (if there isn't a resident hedgehog in your garden) are the organic slug-pellets that contain much safer ingredients, such as *Ferric Phoshate*. These have been tested by 'Which' magazine and are not only as effective as *Metaldehyde* in killing slugs and snails but are apparently safer for mammals, such as hedgehogs. These safer alternatives include 'Growing Success' advanced slug killer and 'Richard Jackson's Advanced formula slug and snail control' (available from QVC and elsewhere). N.B. Many garden centres & hardware stores do now stock the alternative *Ferric Phosphate* slug pellets alongside the traditional *Metaldehyde* ones, so availability should not be a problem.  

Please sign this petition to DEFRA to ban the use of *Metaldehyde* slug-pellets NOW, before it's too late to save our hedgehogs from extinction. We did it when we banned the use of neonicotinoid pesticides that were driving our bees to extinction, so now it's time to save the hedgehog (:-) Below is a distressing video, courtesy of CUAN Wildlife Rescue, showing just how Metaldehyde poisons hedgehogs: