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Leave Our Foxes Alone!
They add grace and beauty to our lives.
Education - not culling - is the answer.
In an unfortunate incident, apparently a fox entered a home in London and bit a baby, biting off the tip of her finger and causing our huge cadre of hysterics to scream for a fox cull by any means possible and rid our cities of our “Urban Foxes.” That this incident is rare doesn’t deter the howls of the mob, misdirected as usual from the doings of the real vermin - Man - and calling for the end of a situation which has given huge pleasure to many who enjoying sharing their topsy-turvy world of the megatropolis with this diffident and shy wild creature.
We have around 30,000 foxes sharing our urban life with us, nation wide. That is a small number, actually, bearing in mind the thousands of rural villages where most appear, leaving a healthy percentage to share our large cities.
After all, the fox has been in Britain far longer than monkey-man: we built our towns on their turf, not the reverse. We have only just repealed the ban on hunting them through the countryside with packs of dogs and uppah class drunks on horseback…”makes us look like macho men, doncha know.” You don’t need an excess amount of brain-cells to see the hunt lobby clapping and cheering over this latest incident which may further their cause of getting the ban repealed by Cameron’s mob. The PM is said to be sympathetic to their appeals and they have never stopped lobbying, infuriated by being denied something, which privileges, as landed gentry and their acolytes, they accept as their birthright and droit seigneur .
The injured baby’s parents had left the front (or back) door open all night which allowed the fox entry (they hardly ever go into our homes). The mother blamed the local council saying they were delinquent on fixing her door! I mean, fer gawd’s sake, what does it take to make a temporary repair on a door to protect your family at night? As many residents do feed the foxes, perhaps it thought the door was left open for a hungry mum (vixen).
Specialists in trapping vermin say babies may be more attractive to a fox because of their milk (and other) smells and that the infant probably raised a tiny, questing hand which she thrust into the fox’s mouth. Regardless, we can’t allow our progeny to be attacked in this manner and people need to be educated in how to treat their furry neighbors.
Informed naturalists like Chris Packham say we are really responsible for the influx of foxes in the first place. “Foxes are scavengers as well as hunters, “ he explained to Sky News this am. “City dwellers leave all sorts of food waste outside their houses, in the gardens or in the street.” Packham explained. “A chicken leg or scraps from the roast are a gourmet meal for a hungry fox which perhaps has several cubs to feed.” He says we should be very reserved and cautious about feeding the foxes ourselves, which many householders enjoy and the fox may begin to depend on. “We need to keep a space between us, physically and emotionally,” he said, “don’t try to make them into the family pet.”
Even should a cull be authorized, expensive trapping by experts would be the only possible method. Poisoning them would imperil our pets and shooting them would be impossible in an urban environment. Trapping and release would be a humane possibility, but trapping a vixen and sending her 100 miles away might lead to the situation of young cubs staving to death in a den while they wait for mum with dinner…and who, say one and all, would pay millions of pounds to exterminators?
Canada has its elk who take over some towns at certain times, to the delight of most of the inhabitants,. Both the US and Canada accept the danger from Grizzly and Black Bears to benefit from the joy of being able to see these great creatures. Australia refuses to cull its crocodiles - although they take several lives from time to time - because they also love and respect these ancient carnivores. India, as we know, carries things to extremes, respecting all life, including deadly snakes like the Cobras.
Our best friends - Dogs - injure and even occasionally kill people in the UK, but we would never cull dogs or deny owners from having them. There is a huge outcry going on at present because we have discovered our hamburgers, sausages and pre-packed lasagna often ‘neighs’ as we open the packet! We cannot accept eating our pals, the horse, and rightly so, although many nations do so with no ill effect.
Yet we bay for the blood of these beautiful and precious wild creatures because one badly nipped a baby (There have only been two or three attacks in as many years from all these foxes!).
Many, including this scribbler, think the foxes like and respect us very much in the main. They realize we are the dominant species by a country mile and stay clear of us nearly all the time in daylight and treat us with caution at all times.
Foxes, perhaps our most emotive wild creature, would have to commit a whole lot more unacceptable acts to us than they have so far to get my support in culling; repealing hunting bans or in any way changing the peaceful co-existence that has built up over the years.