The Sceptic Tank was moved to tears today after reading that a cousin of our childhood friend is being brought to its knees in the name of development.
Agriculture and urbanisation have been blamed for a wide range of environmental degradations, but the European Court of Justice added a new charge to the growing list this week, ruling that France has failed to protect the humble hamster from farming and building development.
France could now face fines if it fails to ensure the future of the endangered Great Hamster of Alsace. Sadly only a few hundred wild creatures remain in the fields of eastern France.
Yes, France agrees that the development of maize crops has been harmful to hamsters.
But, despite its efforts to improve the situation, the EU ruled that the government has simply not done enough to protect our furry friends.
Specifically, France needs to do more to reintroduce the crops which hamsters eat and ensure that their love nests are protected from new building developments.
The French Environment Ministry insists that hamster populations are improving thanks to government efforts since the case was first brought to the European Court in 2008.
The Sceptic Tank sincerely hopes so, not least to shore up the world's increasingly fragile ecosystem, but to keep the adorable little critters safe and sound.
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