A petition to move hedgehogs to schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act has been debated in Parliament.
Eleven MPs took part in the discussion and supported the request.
Hedgehogs are currently protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (schedule 6).
They are also covered by the Wild Mammals Protection Act (1996).
This means it is illegal to kill or capture them using certain methods.
It prohibits cruelty and mistreatment.
However, it is argued, none of the legislation covers the reasons why hedgehogs are in decline.
A move to schedule 5 would ensure nesting sites and hedgehogs are protected from disturbance.
Other mammals that are “vulnerable to extinction” – hazel dormice, serotine bats, barbastelle bats and Orkney voles – have schedule 5 protection.
The list also includes red squirrels, water voles, otters, and all bat species.
The petition – which had more than 108,000 signatures – said:
“Now the hedgehog has been listed as vulnerable to extinction in the UK, we are calling on the Government to move hedgehogs to schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 to allow them greater protection.”
The Government responded:
“There are currently no plans to give hedgehogs further legal protection.
An evidence-based review of Schedule 5 of the Act is in progress, and we will consider any recommendations arising from this.”
Watch the debate – cut and paste the link to your browser:
Read the debate heard in Parliament: