Foxes are thriving in the urban environment, but what most people don't know is that you are within your rights, as a member of th...
A debate over whether urban foxes should be tolerated or exterminated has drawn a huge response from members of the public across the UK. Many see them as harmless while others believe they spread disease.
Whatever your opinion, it is important that you are aware of your rights as a homeowner on how to protect your property from foxes. You should understand the options open to you with regards to control and removal of foxes in any situation, be that domestic, commercial or in the open countryside.
The culling of foxes is permitted by law, however you must be sure to enrol in the services of a pest control company who is able and willing to rise to the challenge. As a member of the public, you have the right to protect your property and livestock from damage.
You have the right to expect that you are not exposed to disease, however small the risk. In short, you are expected to take control of your pest control problems yourselves and in most cases that means contacting your local pest control company.
Equally, you have the right to do nothing about the situation if you so choose.
Most people understand and, maybe expect, that fox control takes place in the countryside. They are, of course, quite right. However, many people do not realise that there are as many, if not more, foxes removed from our towns and cities as there are in rural areas. When we say removed, we mean culled.
Even though sometimes when a trap is collected, there is a live fox inside, the end result is the same: the captured fox will still need to be dispatched.
The majority of calls regarding fox control are from households, followed by educational facilities, sports complexes and commercial and industrial sites. All have one thing in common – a fox problem that needs to be dealt with expertly.
Pest controllers in the trade who have been controlling – and that means shooting – foxes for many years often remark that they have never lost respect for the fox. Like everybody else, these men and women have opinions, beliefs and standards, but they are not misguided or unwilling to step up to the plate when it comes to discussing issues such as fox control.
One school of thought is that foxes are self-regulating and that shooting only serves to make matters worse, so can those who believe this theory correctly answer the following: How is it possible to remove six adult foxes from two properties 50 yards apart to find another six adult foxes out on the street again on the same night?
There are two main methods used to control urban foxes – culling on the spot and live trapping. The method preferred by most pest control companies is to shoot on-site because the precision equipment used, coupled with experience in the job means that there is a guarantee that no suffering takes place. Trapping on the other hand means that a fox has spent several hours in a cage. Though fed and watered, the animal is subject to untold stress only to be taken away and humanely shot at another location.
Releasing urban foxes into the wild is not an option because, by law, most pest control companies are not entitled to release an animal back into the wild, and to do so may result in prosecution under animal cruelty legislation or the Abandonment of Animals Act.
In addition, to release an urban fox into the wild could very likely result in the animal starving or being chased off or killed by their country brethren.