So go ahead and cull them - there's plenty to go at and (as I discovered not long ago) make a pretty tasty pie. But whatever you do, don't ring the RSPCA for advice - they're clearly on some kind of deal with the pest control industry!
As Rev Douglas Drane discovered:
"I caught one of these vermin in a humane trap but when I called the RSPCA I was told I could not let it go because it posed a threat to red squirrels, which are not native to Gloucestershire," he said. I was also told I could not kill the animal myself and that risked prosecution if I did. I had to get a pest controller to come and do the job - at a cost of £70.
"I was dumbfounded by the RSPCA's response. What on earth am I supposed to do if I can't kill the squirrel or release it? I have done everything by the book. But it shows the law is an ass. It clearly needs to be changed."
And it's not just the RSPCA who are conflicted about squirrels. BBC Gardeners Question Time was accused of censoring panellists' comments on controlling pests like rats, mice, squirrels, rabbits and wood pigeons. And there are the real nutters like Animal Aid:
Their comments have been roundly attacked by Andrew Tyler, the director of Animal Aid, an animal rights group. He said: "The whole premise of gardeners killing squirrels is hateful and bigoted. It's the worst kind of intolerance. People should cherish them. But there is a concerted attempt to characterise them as vermin and a threat to the red. Gardeners who should be nurturing life and respecting life shouldn't be taking this bigoted view."
Look Andrew, if you and your mates over at the RSPCA want to hug bunnies that's fine by me. But please leave the rest of us who live in the real world to deal with the vermin and pests attacking our farms, out gardens and, in the case of squirrels, our electric wires. And, when we've killed the squirrels cook and eat them.