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Are foxes

'vermin'?

Lamping is a loose term that covers a number of different activities. However, they all take place at night and they all result in the murder of wildlife in the British countryside.

We’ve all heard and seen the terror stories of the fox – of a vicious predator that attacks our pets and babies, of an urban menace that isn’t to be trusted or approached – but are these stories a fair reflection of this iconic British animal? 

If the press is to be believed foxes are a threat to our very existence and  vermin that needs to be eradicated – but that’s simply not true.

Firstly, despite the continuing insistence of those who have historically sought to justify killing them for sport or, in the case of old fashioned ‘pest controllers’, for profit, foxes are not and have never been legally classified as ‘vermin’.

Another myth is that urban foxes are vicious predators that attack pets and babies. This couldn’t be further from reality. Such incidents are vanishingly rare and foxes only attack out of fear and tend to shy away from humans and larger animals unless provoked. Whilst foxes may approach houses, they only do so because of the high potential of finding a food source and will almost always back away when people approach them. 

 

Before we demonise foxes let’s remember that we destroyed their habitat to build our own homes, and even in urban areas foxes pose few problems other than being an occasional nuisance. When Boris Johnson was London Mayor he called foxes ‘pests’ and even went as far as urging London councils to tackle the “menace” of urban foxes: the truth though is that foxes play a pivotal role in keeping mice and rat numbers under control.

 

Most ‘fox nuisance’ – like digging, fouling, and making noise (especially at night) – are natural fox behaviours, but some people will never feel comfortable with foxes living near to them. Rather than killing them though, there are several humane methods to deter foxes from a particular area.

We highly recommend repellents such as Scoot and Get Off which are safe mammal repellents which will not cause any harm to foxes. We would also recommend Fox-a-Gon, Humane Wildlife Solutions and Foxolutions – organisations that are specialised in humane solutions.