11 Jun '11, 11am

France slapped on the wrist for failing to protect the 25cm Great Hamster

PARIS - France was punished on Thursday for not taking proper care of its hamsters. The Court of Justice in Luxembourg, the European Union's highest court, ruled that France had failed to protect the Great Hamster of Alsace, sometimes known as the European hamster, the last wild hamster species in Western Europe. If France does not adjust its agricultural and urbanisation policies sufficiently to protect it, the court said, the government will be subject to fines of as much as US$24.6 million (S$29.1 million). The Great Hamster, which can grow up to 25cm long, has a brown-and-white face, white paws and a black belly. There are thought to be about 800 left in France, with burrows in Alsace along the Rhine. The Great Hamster likes grass and crops like alfalfa, but these have largely been replaced by corn. It must make longer and more hazardous journeys as its grazing area sh...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/Science/EDC110611-0000013/Rebu...

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