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To think there are good arguments for an urban fox cull

(82 Posts)
OwlCapone Fri 03-Oct-14 12:34:07

Firstly, I'm not actually suggesting there should be one and I wouldn't actively support one because I don't actually like the idea of killing them.

However, I am fed up with the amount of fox poo (one on the drive yesterday and one on the front doorstep this morning and it's like an obstacle course on the walk to school in the morning) and the area around my doors smells rank from fox urine too.

Also the damn things keep destroying my garden fence so that I can never let my dog our off the lead as he is like bloody houdini and can go missing for hours. (Ther is a chance it's being destroyed by badgers, to be fair)

The problem seem to have got far, far worse recently. Why is the urban fox population so strong now?

browneyedgirl86 Fri 03-Oct-14 12:36:24

We have the same issue with fox poo. But i couldn't agree with the idea of a cull.

JennyOnTheBlocks Fri 03-Oct-14 12:37:50

foxes have always lived on the edge of urban areas, but now we are stretching out further into the countryside and building on those, the foxes are being turfed out, not sure which way to go, so they seek out the best source of easy

JennyOnTheBlocks Fri 03-Oct-14 12:37:59


OwlCapone Fri 03-Oct-14 12:39:50

Like I said, I wouldn't agree with it but I do think there are good arguments for one. I can't think of any arguments against it other than simply not wanting to kill them. Do they do anything positive like keep the rat population down?

AuntieStella Fri 03-Oct-14 12:42:23

There are too many (and too bold) in city centres these days.

I'd support a cull if it would work. I've heard they would recolonise too rapidly to make it worth it but I think, even short of elimination, reduction in numbers would be a good thing.

Numanoid Fri 03-Oct-14 12:51:06

No, a cull can't be justified. It has been mentioned already, but as we (as humans) move further out into the countryside and expand our 'living space', wildlife such as foxes begin to run out of places to live. And can you blame them for thinking they might get an easy meal in a more populated area (from bins, for example).
What gives us the right to decide another species is annoying us, and therefore should be killed? They have as much right to be here as we do, and are less harmful to the environment than us as well.

JennyOnTheBlocks Fri 03-Oct-14 12:54:14

what are the 'good' arguments for killing animals, Owl?

Chocolateteabag Fri 03-Oct-14 12:55:19

If there was nothing easier to eat (bins, discarded takeaways, food left out for cats and hedgehogs etc etc) then yes foxes might have a go at a rat, but given that a rat normally fights back (pretty viciously) most foxes won't be actively hunting for them when there is so much freely available food.

I personally think that when nothing else is effectively controlling an animals population, a cull is a far kinder process than the alternative. Which is to be clear, too many foxes leading to more attacks on domestic pets and more bolder fox activities (as they search for food) and ultimately starvation of the fox cubs and older, weaker foxes. Animals starving to death is cruel how ever you look at it.

However, a cull in a built up area would be incredibly difficult to do. Can't poison or gas, shooting would be very difficult to do safely.
Probably have to trap and then inject. Which would at least mean a selective process.

OwlCapone Fri 03-Oct-14 12:56:00

What gives us the right to decide another species is annoying us, and therefore should be killed

The same that gives us the right to kill wasps, flies, mice, rats or "vermin" of your choice. ie none at all really but most don't bat an eyelid at killing those animals.

ArabellaTarantella Fri 03-Oct-14 12:56:17

I think it is the humans who are invading the fox's territory who should be culled grin

AuntieStella Fri 03-Oct-14 12:56:27

How would you carry out a cull in an urban area anyhow?

You can't shoot (well, I suppose you could if there was a well publicised curfew on people).

Perhaps trying to trap, then contracept females and remove males might have some effect on numbers, or at least deal with the boldest.

OwlCapone Fri 03-Oct-14 12:58:13

what are the 'good' arguments for killing animals, Owl?

Prevention of disease for one. If we are talking about animals in general then food (clearly I'm not a vegetarian and thus hold a different view to them on that one). Prevention of harm to humans.

JennyOnTheBlocks Fri 03-Oct-14 13:00:12

what diseases can you get from a fox?

i am vegetarian btw, and if we're preventing harm to humans, what about the humans who harm others?

OwlCapone Fri 03-Oct-14 13:01:48

How would you carry out a cull in an urban area anyhow?

Not a clue.

I'm only speaking hypothetically anyway. I can't see how it would work and, like I said, I don't really want one even though I can see good arguments for reducing the population.

When I was a child, urban foxes were a rarity. I remember them being humanely trapped in a neighbour's garden once and once from under a classroom at primary school. Now they are everywhere in large numbers.

OwlCapone Fri 03-Oct-14 13:03:00

what diseases can you get from a fox?

You said animals.

Anyway, I bet poo from a wild fox is riddled with similar nasties as domestic dog poo.

OwlCapone Fri 03-Oct-14 13:03:54

if we're preventing harm to humans, what about the humans who harm others?

I think you'll find the justice system is set up to deal with those, however inefficiently it works.

JennyOnTheBlocks Fri 03-Oct-14 13:04:49

of course i said animals, but we need to discriminate which ones we are at threat from, or should we bump them all off, you, just in case?

OwlCapone Fri 03-Oct-14 13:04:50

I suspect foxes would bring in ticks too, which are infected with Lyme Disease in some areas.

ItIsSmallerOnTheOutside Fri 03-Oct-14 13:05:21

I would support a limit on the amount of chicken and chip shops and other takeaways that have popped up all over the place. They stink, they don't all take care that their waste is properly disposed of, this attracts foxes.

Also I know it isn't their fault but lots of their customers seem to litter. The amount of chicken bones I see abandoned on the floor makes me sick. On the spot fines for anyone doing that in my view.

I know I'm off topic slightly but I think if there were less of these shops there'd be less urban foxes. (And litter, and obesity.)

Numanoid Fri 03-Oct-14 13:05:48

The same that gives us the right to kill wasps, flies, mice, rats or "vermin" of your choice. ie none at all really but most don't bat an eyelid at killing those animals.

I don't kill any of those and don't think it's right that we do. I don't get angry when people do swat a fly or whatnot, I admit I'm not that bothered by it, but it is still a little life that's being taken away. I admit I used to kill spiders because I have a phobia, but haven't killed one for years now (although not sure how I'd react if one appeared when no-one else was around to help!).

Like Arabella said, I wonder if foxes want a human cull. hmm All we seem to do is destroy the environment and pollute the planet (of course I'm not suggesting culling people!) then decide that other creatures are a nuisance to us, so we kill them.

NetballHoop Fri 03-Oct-14 13:06:14

One of our neighbours puts out food for the foxes angry.

One reason for a cull is when the population grows too large to healthily live in an area. If you cull some of the older or weaker animals the rest have better lives. They do this with the red deer in Richmond Park.

OwlCapone Fri 03-Oct-14 13:08:01

of course I'm not suggesting culling people!

There are probably good theoretical arguments for that too wink

As an aside, I have a spider phobia but have never deliberately killed them.

OwlCapone Fri 03-Oct-14 13:10:35

My cat does a damn fine job of keeping the mouse population in the house down.
If I can get a wasp or fly out of the house I will, otherwise I'm afraid they're history. Flies are rank and wasps are evil IMO.

Branleuse Fri 03-Oct-14 13:12:55

We barely have ANY predators left in this country at all. Which means the rabbit and rat population gets out of control which effects the whole country because trees dont become established. Foxes actually cause very very little damage relatively,but the natural world isnt just there to be pretty, but if theres any convenience issue, then kill em, its a really problematic attitude.

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