Thursday, June 9, 2011

European Union Court Addresses Hamster Problems

The European Union's highest court apparently has enough time on its hands to take up the critical issue of how France is treating wild hamsters.
The Court ... ruled Thursday that France had failed to protect the Great Hamster of Alsace, sometimes known as the European hamster, the last wild hamster species in Western Europe. If France does not adjust its agricultural and urbanization policies sufficiently to protect it, the court said, the government will be subject to fines of as much as $24.6 million.
Since hamsters, much like mice and other rodents, are pests that damage crops, French farmers used to kill them. Now, not only can't they kill them, but they have to grow food for them.
France “now must work to raise the population of hamsters up to 1,500,” which would be enough to preserve the species, he said, and the prefecture of Alsace “must stop some urbanization projects and restore” older agreements to grow certain cereals that hamsters eat.
You can't make this stuff up.

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