Mark E Smith: Friend Of John Peel, Not So Much A Friend Of Endangered Species

noah | April 9, 2008 1:45 am

Cantankerous Fall frontman Mark E Smith is not a fan of things that get in his way, especially if they’re doing things like eating his garden fence. Which is why, he told a writer for Uncut, that he had killed a couple of red squirrels to death in the weeks leading up to his interview with the magazine, because they’d been noshing on his fence and attracting rats to his house. Smith’s interview was read by a staffer at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and as it turns out, the amateur pest control he’s been engaging in is a crime under the UK’s Wildlife and Countryside Act, and punishable by things like a fine of £20,000 or six months in the pokey!

The gruff singer claimed he would “happily set about an endangered red squirrel with a set of professional hedge-clippers”.

He added: “Squirrels mean nothing to me. I killed a couple last weekend actually. They were eating my garden fence.

“My sisters are animal lovers and they had been leaving food out for these squirrels. They’ve got rats in the bloody house now. Serves ’em right.”

To make matters worse, the maverick frontman went on to add that he ‘wouldn’t have a problem’ with running over seagulls for fun.

But the RSPCA said its investigators were appalled by the remarks and were now preparing a prosecution.

Spokesman Klare Kennett said: ‘The comments made by Mark E Smith are extremely irresponsible and he has basically admitted to committing an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act by killing two red squirrels.

“These animals are highly protected and anyone killing, harming or taking red squirrels from the wild is liable to prosecution and can face up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to £20,000.

“We will certainly be investigating this alleged offence now it has been brought to our attention.”

She added: “If he is getting confused and talking about grey squirrels, then killing them without a good reason – eating food put out for them is not a good reason – could also be an offence under certain circumstances.”

Well, the possibility of him getting “confused” is kinda high, I’ll grant you that. But I’m just surprised that revelations like this one have taken so long to come out.

Veteran rocker Mark E Smith faces RSPCA probe for chopping up rare red squirrels with hedge-clippers [Daily Mail; HT Jon Williams]