Ann Widdecombe is calling on the Government to introduce a new law to save the UK's hedgehogs. She has launched Save Harry!, a new campaign by charity Wildlife Aid Foundation to help save our beloved hedgehog population.
According to Ann Widdecombe: "Sixty years ago there were about 36 million hedgehogs. Incredibly, this number had plummeted to some two million in the 1990s and could now be down to under a million.
"We need to take action now before extinction becomes a very real prospect. Previous warnings have had little effect because they have placed the onus solely on the individual to act, ignoring the pivotal role of legislation - something which I understand full well. All we ask for is the mandatory introduction of some simple and low-cost measures to improve the survival rates of this iconic British animal, which holds a special place in our hearts."
According to the Wildlife Aid Foundation's founder-director, Simon Cowell MBE, the Save Harry! campaign tackles the problem by demanding a Hedgehog Protection Act to make willful killing of hedgehogs illegal, alongside a mandatory code of practice. Simon Cowell said: "This will force all Government agencies, including Network Rail and the Highways Agency, to treat as critical the plight of the British hedgehog. A new law will also prompt influential trade and consumer bodies, such as the Royal Horticultural Society and the Home Builders Federation, to take notice and provide advice to their members before it is too late.
"I was privileged to grow up at a time when hedgehogs were commonplace. Sadly, these wonderful little creatures are no longer a common sight in Britain 's countryside. Unless we act now they could soon disappear altogether. I want future generations in Britain to be able to see our native hedgehogs."