Animal rights activists have reacted in horror after the exponential rise in meerkat numbers throughout Europe forced Russian authorities to introduce a genetically modified strain of the myxomatosis virus into the village of Meerkovo. Meerkat numbers have grown massively in the last couple of years, from a solitary ‘uber-meerkat’ to a ‘plague of Biblical proportions’, according to Yuri Rochenko, head of the Moscow State Pest Control Authority.
‘What started off as one meerkat on a TV advert has rapidly increased to a whole village full of them and they’re now spreading to other European countries, infiltrating nation states by being boxed up and sold with insurance policies. There is an urgent need to keep these vermin down in a humane way that does not invalidate our no-claims bonuses.’
The ramifications of the myxomatosis outbreak are already affecting the marketing industry, with the makers of insurance commercials hastily rewriting their scripts. ‘Have you any idea how the 9 pm watershed restricts sales?’ complained one advertising executive. ‘Our latest campaign was due to feature a Slavic meerkat handing out cuddly toys to bemused members of the insurance-buying public, but we’ve now had to change that to footage of a near-blind Aleksandr Orlov crawling along the ground before being shot by a farmer to put him out of his misery.’
Critics have blasted the introduction of myxomatosis into the Russian meerkat population as ‘barbaric’. One activist said: ‘We are still seeing the fallout from the original introduction of myxomatosis in Australia in the 1950s, so the fact that they have gone ahead and repeated that tactic is reckless in the extreme. Plus my car insurance is due for renewal and my grandson’s birthday is coming up. Do these people have any feelings?’
As international criticism mounts and negotiations begin to send an emergency RSPCA rescue mission to save the listless, shivering and starved citizens of Meerkovo, the Russian government has defended its actions.
‘Would you rather we roam the streets, blasting away with rifles? This is a delicate operation, not a British badger cull!’ said Vladimir Putin, who has personally taken charge of the project. ‘We have carried out painstaking research to find the most painless way possible to eliminate these creatures – at one point we nearly crashed the servers of comparethebiologicalweaponry.com. Simples.’
Born of an unholy alliance between Vertically Challenged Giant and jp1885