To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to control squirrel pox in the red squirrel population.
11 November 2014
Squirrelpox virus is highly infectious and poses a major threat to red squirrel populations. That is why Defra is contributing £50,000 over two years to the Moredun Research Institute, which is undertaking research on the development of a vaccine for squirrel pox virus.
This adds to the wider package of Government actions being undertaken to protect red squirrels from the impact of grey squirrels and the squirrel pox they carry. This includes Natural England and Forestry Commission participation in the Red Squirrels Northern England project and Forestry Commission provision of grant aid, through the English Woodland Grant Scheme, for grey squirrel control in red squirrel areas.