Keep your Hands off our foxes

Posted By on March 18, 2011

Conservative MP Greg Hands is at it again, in his ongoing attempt to have foxes reclassified as vermin so that councils would be able to organise culls. Hands originally asked much the same question in 2006 (and indeed he received much the same answer).

At present, there is nothing stopping individual landowners dealing with “problem foxes”, but there are no wider powers allowing councils to attempt to cull foxes on a wider scale. Leaving aside the desirability or otherwise of attempting this, if foxes are culled then other foxes will move in and take over that territory; the University of Bristol have done significant research into this aspect of animal population (for instance this recent paper).

While there have been incidences of foxes attacking humans, they are certainly isolated incidents. The number of reports of people being bitten (and even killed) by dogs is considerably higher, yet I do not see Mr Hands agitating for their removal.

Labour MP Paul Flynn said “Having some wildlife in urban areas gives great delight to many people.” I agree (not surprisingly!)

I was contacted by Radio London yesterday with a view to my taking part in a debate with Mr Hands on their drive-time programme. Unfortunately I had to decline this time around, but I hope that they managed to find a suitable advocate for the foxes; did anyone hear the show?

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3 Responses to “Keep your Hands off our foxes”

  1. badwitch says:

    What a shame you couldn’t argue the case for foxes this time. No one is going to cull any foxes in my garden, even if I have to chain myself to the fox hole to prevent it!

  2. I just realized that the fox debate in the UK is really similar to the coyote debate in the US. We have a lot of coyotes in Massachussetts, where I live, and some people love them, and some people think they are vermin. (Good link for more info at .) Maybe this was obvious to everyone else, but came as a sudden revelation to me 🙂

  3. Foxy Lady says:

    That sounds entirely plausible!

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