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PalenQ Dec 7th, 2014 10:38 AM

London: Foxes to be Culled?

anyone who has been in London outside the touristed center at all will have been surprised to see foxes lurking about - even in broad daylight - I see them often in scrub brush along rail lines - I even saw an Albino fox once when camping at Sidcup (Mudcup as we called the camping place there!).

And once in a B&B in Eltham in a yard that backed up to an Overground rail line I regularly saw a fox lazing about in the back yard.

I mentioned that once to the landlady who said "Oh that's my pet fox" - she explained she went to the nearby Butcher's reguarly for some fresh meat for her pet.

I said I thought foxes could be harmful to say small pets and she poohpoohed that sayindd "It's people you should be worried about not foxes" - to which I nodded in total agreement!

She said she had a pet cat that regularly sunned itself on the roof of a small tool shed with the fox laying around just below it - never thinking about the cat (well as long as the vermin was regularly fed by the old lady anyway - she said she knew several folks who fed foxes.

Well apparently not everyone in London or Britain is so fox-friendly and there are not snipers being hired to cull what many folk feel are too many foxes running amok, with reports of attacks on pets and even on rare occasions a child.

Yet the lobby to keep foxes is strong apparently and there are even groups that nurse injured foxes back together to reintroduce them to their London habitat.

Though the British House of Common passes a fox huntring ban some years ago apparently this type of vagrant vermin thinning is allowed - it's formal fox hunts with horses and hounds that were banned.

Anyway in London keep your eyes peeled to see one of thousands of London foxes foxing around!

MissPrism Dec 7th, 2014 11:16 AM

One is regularly seen in Downing Street and you even see them on the Tube

dotheboyshall Dec 7th, 2014 11:39 AM

Don't worry, it will be a failure because the foxes will move the goalposts

nytraveler Dec 7th, 2014 05:56 PM

Well I can;t get exercised about foxes near London.

In NYC we have not only raccoons, I'm sure foxes, a massive oversupply of white tail deer, wild turkeys, coyotes and in the nearby suburbs we have a significant number of bear. As in full-size bear perfectly capable of killing someone - although they typically look for handy garbage and fruit trees and bushes in yards since they are omnivores. And in some suburbs in NJ there have been coyotes following small children home from school (and missing cats and small dogs).

Humans are not alone in the world - and more animals seem to be becoming accustomed to living near humans (there are lynx in the distant suburbs and in southern states there are wolves and pumas in very busy national parks) so I think we'll just have to get used to it.

And people in any area should not let their cats out alone - or dogs that weigh less than 50 or 60 pounds.

PatrickLondon Dec 7th, 2014 11:01 PM

Strictly speaking, what that article talks about isn't a cull so much as somewhat radical pest control by individual householders. I'm not surprised. Foxes are at the top of the food chain with no natural predators: it was only a matter of time before they stopped being a cute surprise (I see them quite often round here, and more often evidence of their presence) and became a nuisance to some people

flanneruk Dec 7th, 2014 11:55 PM

The presence or absence of "fox culling" (Patrick's right, and the phenomenon ought to be called something else) is one of the odder things about the mixture of foxes'apparent cuteness, the intense publicity given in Britain to the deranged fringe of animal lovers and animal rights activists, officially sanctioned animal protection bodies' extraordinary self-righteousness, British aversion to private firearm ownership and the occasional survival of 19th century rural snobberies.

Shooting foxes in the 19th century countryside was sort of anti-social (it deprived riders of the fun of hunting them on horseback), and then became THE supreme mark of a cad.

Even deep in our rural fastness, it's still not supposed to be done. Getting your chickens eaten by them is seen as the sign of inept husbandry, sheep farmers change the subject and we kind of pretend those people on horses with foxhounds are just off for a steeplechase.

Somehow or other, though, all those baa-lambs seem to survive the year in extraordinarily good health.

Odin Dec 8th, 2014 01:16 AM

<<Well I can;t get exercised about foxes near London.>> Is there a translation available for this sentence?

Jeff801 Dec 8th, 2014 01:42 AM

A good friend of ours recently awoke to find 41 lambs killed overnight by a fox or foxes.

PatrickLondon Dec 8th, 2014 02:09 AM

>><<Well I can;t get exercised about foxes near London.>> Is there a translation available for this sentence?<<

"Exercised" in the sense of "worked up", "in a sweat", "knickers in a twist" about......

ribeirasacra Dec 8th, 2014 02:10 AM

......or abandoned dogs hunting in packs

Hooameye Dec 8th, 2014 02:33 AM

""Exercised" in the sense of "worked up", "in a sweat", "knickers in a twist" about......"

Unusual turn of phrase, I though he meant to say "excited" and may have been "auto spell checked".

Michael Dec 8th, 2014 08:08 AM

<i>Unusual turn of phrase, </i>

Perhaps unfamiliar, but not unusual.

Josser Dec 8th, 2014 09:49 AM

I'm not sentimental about animals. However, I'd be willing to bet that those lambs were attacked by dogs. Foxes don't hunt in packs. A fox feeding on a dead lamb hasn't necessarily killed it.

janisj Dec 8th, 2014 10:17 AM

>>Unusual turn of phrase,

Perhaps unfamiliar, but not unusual.<<

Its a totally normal turn of phrase.

Jeff801: Where/in what country? I seriously doubt it was a fox/foxes.

nytraveler Dec 8th, 2014 10:50 AM

I would think a fox awfully small to kill a lamb - and a huge number of lambs like that would seem to indicate something much larger than a fox or a pack of animals. Coyotes will kill white tail fawns - but at an average of more than 40 pounds coyotes are much bigger than foxes.

Cathinjoetown Dec 8th, 2014 10:58 AM

Foxes are small-ish. Last year one came into the tiny front garden of our children's flat in Bournemouth (middle of an urban area). I was thinking it was sort of cute until I saw it yawn.

There is probably a technical term but the best way to describe it would be its jaw is double-hinged--it could easily get around a new lamb's neck or that of my small grandson.

I think they need to be culled from urban areas.

janisj Dec 8th, 2014 11:14 AM

>>I would think a fox awfully small to kill a lamb <<

More city centric there ;)

Yes, a fox definitely <i>can</i> kill a lamb. But most of the time a fox will take an already dead or ill newborn lamb. It was the number of lambs Jeff mentioned that makes it unlikely IMO/IME. One sure -- a whole slew of them - no.

PalenQ Dec 8th, 2014 12:00 PM

Seems a lot of Londoners love their foxes - this will be a big battle perhaps. foxes are not wolves but small vermin yes with big jaws but one could never blow a house down like a wolf once could.

nytraveler Dec 8th, 2014 06:36 PM

I'm not saying a fox couldn't kill a lamb - but I would think most survive on smaller animals.

Plus, how many lambs are there in the London suburbs?

flanneruk Dec 8th, 2014 09:16 PM

" this will be a big battle perhaps. "

I doubt it.

My experience is that urban dissenters from the fox-protection consensus regard the issue much as most Londoners regard climate-change air transport levies, immigrant abuse of the welfare system or high taxes on wine: an irritation, possibly for grumbling about with like-minded chums in private, but no more worth spending energy on than campaigning to ban rain.

In the countryside, a spot of discreet direct action gets lots of blind eyes turned.

Foreigners can invent all the damnfool scares about the dangers of foxes they like (they do love their mad panics, don't they?) But in the two decades since the foxes started drifting into town, there's not been a single significant case of a human attacked or infected by one.

Children get attacked at least monthly by pet dogs, and we get a couple of fatalities a year from cows. Squirrels and pigeons bring better-supported risks to human health into central London.

Only in the intolerant environment of the New York Times (the pseudo-liberals' bible) is anyone talking about culling our urban foxes. Few Londoners hold with such transatlantic extremism.

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