Councillor in safety row over cemetery moles

A council that demanded a risk assessment before catching moles in a graveyard has been accused of health and safety madness.

Independent county councillor John Shuttleworth said officials at Durham County Council were wasting time and money.

He asked for staff to come out to tackle the moles in Rookhope and Cowshill cemeteries in Weardale, but received an email saying the risk assessment was needed.

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Mr Shuttleworth said: “I can set a mole trap myself – it’s not rocket science.”

A council spokeswoman said they had to ensure they obeyed the law and that mole catchers were qualified in animal welfare regulations for pest control.

“We believe this gentleman uses methods which are not recommended under the legislation,” she added.

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