Thursday 8 March 2012: Mole Catcher
I followed this van North up the A6 today, I was curious what point he was trying to make so when he pulled into a lay by I stopped behind him.
The driver, called Peter, is a self employed agricultural contractor who used to have a good living killing moles using strychnine. In 2006 the use of strychnine was banned by the EU and he found himself out of work overnight. There are alternatives, another type of poison or trapping. I'm not quite sure what the issue is with the other poison but the traps are not as effective and require multiple visits to sites which is costly.
Since it was banned Peter has mounted a one man campaign to try and get the EU to reverse the decision including petitioning the commission which involved travelling to Brussels and being given the opportunity to put his case to Commissioners and MEP's.
Moles are a problem for farmers because the soil hills that they push up can contaminate the grass with the listeria organism, there are also issues with moles making holes on horse pastures leading to injury.
Peter continues to trap moles, carries out other forms of pest control and trims cows feet to make a living. An interesting chap!