Ruddy ducks 2, DETR 0

8 Jun 00
The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions has spent £850,000 on an unsuccessful cull of British ruddy ducks.

09 June 2000

The apparently charming and decorative ruddy was classified as a pest after the discovery that its voracious sexual appetite was threatening to wipe out a rare species of Spanish duck.

The department's first attempt to reduce the ruddy duck population to manageable proportions failed when the marksmen it hired proved to be so soft-hearted that they refused to kill nesting female ducks.

They were fired and replaced by a tougher new team. But they have killed only 800 ruddies in the last year. 'That's £1,000 each,' said one official.

'There isn't even a useful spin-off – these ducks are too small to be worth eating,' he lamented.


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