Local government officials in Britain recently spent £60,000($120,000) to move four newts from a building site on a school’s grounds.
Four Great Crested Newts, an endangered species, were found on the grounds of Fallibroome High School in the city of Macclesfield. Under EU and UK laws the newts had to be given a new habitat in order for work on the school’s buildings to proceed.
The expense enraged both local taxpayers and government officials. Councillor Barrie Hardern announced plans to challenge the legislation protecting the newts in the area, saying the animals were not particularly rare in that part of England.
Hardern said: “Around £15,000 per newt seems a ludicrous sum of money to me. They are a legally protected species under EU regulations because there are parts of Europe where they are quite rare. However in Cheshire we have in the order of 16,000 ponds and newts are widespread and locally abundant.”