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Fox Killer Baits: Illegal, reckless, and probably a scam.

Protect the Wild was recently sent a link to a product allegedly on sale in the UK – Fox Killer Baits – that is illegal to use here, is supported by reckless and negligent advice, and which to top it all off seems to be sold on what may well be a scam site anyway!

So if it’s probably a scam site why are we writing this post? Firstly, because we want to put it on record again that it is illegal to poison foxes in the UK (and only legal to use repellents and deterrents approved for use against foxes). And secondly, even if it proves impossible to get the website selling this alleged product taken down, we aim to feature in search engines alongside ‘fox killer baits’ so that whenever someone looks for a poison to kill foxes (and unfortunately we don’t doubt that there will be a market for this stuff here) we show up too – which means we may well be repeating certain keywords like ‘fox killer baits’ more than we usually might…

Illegal. Reckless. A scam.

Fox Killer Baits are sold by what appears to be a US-based company Bed Bug Knocker, but through what at first sight might seem to be a UK URL: uk.bedbugknocker.com. Using uk at the start of a URL does not make it a UK-based site of course, and the .com domain is international. Diagnostics suggest the site is hosted on a French server. The website looks and feels like a ‘mirror site‘.

The ‘baits’ themselves are sold as packs of 500 – which according to their site will ‘eliminate up to 500 foxes’ – and the company promises ‘instant fox removal’. Incredibly their website states that these poisons (which they don’t describe but if the ‘one bait = 1 dead fox’ scenario is remotely true would have to be scarily toxic) can just be scattered around because they are safe ‘for the user and for the inhabitants of the place of treatment’.

 

Screenshot from Fox Killer Baits product page

 

  • It is, we repeat, illegal to poison foxes in the UK.
  • It is illegal to use even legal poisons in the UK without them being contained in bait boxes or under cover to protect non-target animals. The laying of any poisoned bait in the open is illegal. There are no exceptions.

 

We’re not lawyers but stating in print that an illegal product can be used illegally has to be breaking the law surely?

We were so surprised that anyone could have published such reckless and negligent advice that we emailed the ‘helpline’ from a personal email account to ask several pertinent questions to see what the response would be.

  • Note, that we did NOT order ‘fox killer baits’: while we weren’t sure if anything would even be sent, we didn’t want to fund criminality or potentially end up having to find a way to safely dispose of what might have been a powerful and potentially illegal toxin. On top of that we couldn’t find out what chemicals these ‘baits’ might contain: in 2016 new regulations (which were updated in May 2023), came into force in the UK restricting the possession or use of certain poisons and explosive precursors. Any individual who owns or uses a chemical on the government’s list needs a licence, as do those who buy them: regulated substances include poisons such as strychnine and cyanides which are still used in poisons in eg the US (see below) where we suspect the original website originated. 

 

Fix killer baits an illegal poison

Automated responses

So first off, what kind of poison could be ordered online to kill foxes here and wouldn’t they also be dangerous to dogs? After all, foxes and dogs are members of the same family – Canidae – and are closely related (as are wolves, jackals, and coyotes).

  •  Q: I was wondering if you export the fox killer baits to the UK and what poison is in them? Is it right you recommend simply scattering the blocks in eg the garden – are they dangerous to dogs if used like that?
  • A: Thank you for contacting us. Our Fox Killer product is actually a product specifically designed to eliminate foxes. Other animals are not in danger because they will not be affected and the same goes for humans. (Ibrahim Heroick | Bed Bug Knocker)

 

As we stated above, it is illegal to poison foxes in the UK. The advice we should have received was “Sorry we can’t send this product to you as you are not allowed to use it”. The ‘advice’ should have also told us that poisons can not be ‘scattered’ in a garden and that all poisons must be used safely and legally.

And what on earth is a product ‘specifically designed to eliminate foxes‘ that can simply be ‘dispersed’ anyway? We have never heard of a poison that specifically kills foxes but not other related mammals – or other animals for that matter. Poisons like the appalling sodium fluoroacetate (commonly known as 1080) is widely used in Australia to target ‘pests’ including foxes, but it is toxic to all living species, including microbes, plants, insects, birds, and humans. In the US where the mass poisoning of wildlife is carried out by the government, ‘cyanide bombs’ containing hydrogen cyanide kill thousands of foxes, coyotes, and other carnivores but are indiscriminate and will kill (painfully) any mammal that ingests it. The popular rodenticide Ruby Grains sold here in the UK carries the warning “Do not allow to enter into soil/subsoil. Do not allow to enter into surface water or drains. Retain contaminated washing water and dispose of it” because it is so acutely toxic to aquatic life.

What about people? We’re mammals too of course. The packets of this ‘allegedly’ safe product specifically says ‘KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN CAUTION’. To mail out advice that neither companion animals, the environment, NOR HUMANS won’t be at risk from poisons carelessly ‘dispersed’ into a garden is reckless, negligent, and incredibly dangerous.

We were so shocked we tried again.

  • Q: So it would be okay to use the baits in the UK to poison foxes? No problem getting them here and using them?
  • A: Our product is fully legal even in the UK. You have nothing to fear. (Ibrahim Heroick | Bed Bug Knocker)

Again, incorrect advice. Even if there is a product, even if it is safe as they claim, it is not legal to use it to kill foxes or in the way the ‘advice’ states. If anyone were to use poisons to kill foxes or to use any poisons in the way they suggest, they should fear a visit from the local police and a trip to court.

Just to be sure there was no misunderstanding on our part we mailed a third and final time:

  • Q: Are you sure it is legal to use the fox baits here in the UK? I’ve looked online and it says that it’s illegal to poison foxes.
  • A: Our Fox Killer product is actually a product specifically designed to eliminate foxes. Other animals are not in danger because they will not be affected and the same goes for humans. (Ibrahim Heroick | Bed Bug Knocker)

 

That answer is exactly the same as given to our first email. By now we were strongly suspecting that ‘Ibrahim Heroick’ (who doesn’t show up in online searches) was a bot and the company was sending out automated responses. If that’s the case, it is truly horrifying: emailing automated incorrect and reckless advice to someone in the UK with a genuine question about the safe use of poisons to kill foxes is incredibly irresponsible.

If we have any of this wrong we would welcome clarification from Bed Bug Knocker – but to be honest we’re not expecting to hear from them…

 

Trustpilot

At the top of this post we mentioned that this whole operation is almost certainly a scam.

The false information, automated responses, and generic (and frankly implausible) reviews like “Fox Killer adeptly navigates the predator-prey dynamic, thereby exemplifying a responsible approach to wildlife management” all point to that – and so do the terrible (but far more plausible) reviews on Trustpilot.

 

Trustpilot review of bed bug knocker

 

91% of  ‘customers’ are distinctly unimpressed and talk about products not being delivered, fraudulent tracking information, bogus shipping tracking links, returns going to the Czech Republic, endless excuses, 50 Baits being ‘just 50 grains of wheat’ and so on. If it’s not a scam it at the very least appears to be a very badly run company with little understanding of customer service and even less of a clue of UK law.

 

Google Ads

Scam or not, and regardless of what is legal in other jurisdictions, ‘Fox Killer Baits’ should not be on sale in the UK.

It is very difficult to get a website registered outside of the UK taken down from within it, but it should in theory be easier to turn that website invisible by having it removed from where most people first find it: on Google. We have therefore submitted a complaint to Google Ads which is advertising Fox Killer Baits alongside a whole raft of products that – if they exist – should not be on sale here and would be illegal to use.

 

Google ads for numerous poisons that would be illegal to use in the UK including fox killer baits

 

As of writing Google says that “your message is in our queue, and we’ll get to it as quickly as our workload permit”. We have no comment on what it says about Google that there is a ‘queue’ of complaints against adverts on the world’s largest and most used search engine, but we hope they get to it soon and ban ‘Fox Killer Baits’ from the internet.

  • If you would like to add to Google’s workload in the meantime head on over to the Google Complaint Form  Even if it’s just here in the UK we can get it banned, let’s get Fox Killer Baits off the internet.

 

 

Protectors of the Wild Foxes and the Law

  • For accurate information on the law and foxes please see our Protectors of the Wild page on Foxes and the Law