An animal welfare charity has called for Aldi to ban its garden hedgehog houses.
The budget supermarket giant is set to launch the sale of mini dome-shaped hedgehog houses designed to shelter the outdoor creatures when put into back gardens.
However, hedgehog welfare charity Hedgepigs and Hoglets Rescue has called for the Aldi special buy to be stripped from shelves, claiming they could injure or even kill the spiky animals.
Sharing an image of the Aldi Gardenline Igloo Hedgehog House, the charity took to social media to urge shoppers not to buy them and beg the affordable shopping chain to ban them.
Explaining that hedgehogs could get their prickly backs trapped in the small space and starve to death, the concerned organisation wrote, ‘This product is going on sale on Thursday 8th October in Aldi stores. These igloo houses have been the cause of injury & quite probably deaths for Hedgehogs, consequently, we are calling for their ban.
‘Hedgehog rescues report that Hedgehogs spines get caught up in the inside where they become stuck and literally starve to death or at least suffer construction injuries. They are poorly made and blow over in the wind. They should be removed from the market.’
While the Aldi website claims that the igloo house is big enough to contain a whole ‘family of hedgehogs’ and ‘features a small entrance tunnel to deter predators’, Hedgepigs and Hoglets Rescue want animal lovers to stay away from them.
‘They are all prone to blowing away and all made if basket, some have mesh on the inside which are riskier as you can imagine, they are just a waste of money and are another risk to hedgehogs.’
It’s recommended that using an old wooden box filled with dry leaves, hay or straw and covering it with leaves or logs to make it look natural is a good and safe way to provide hedgehogs with shelter in your garden.
Aldi has released a statement claiming that its £10 igloo houses are safe and approved by animal charities.
“Over a quarter of a million of these hedgehog houses have been sold over many years by various retailers and charities including the RSPB and The Woodland Trust.
“It has been tested extensively and our supplier hasn’t had any reported safety issues.
“We are talking to Hedgepigs and Hoglets Rescue to share this information and allay their concerns,” a spokesperson for the brand said.