Sutton councillors say fox cull is not the answer

Sutton Guardian: A fox A fox

A cull on foxes is not the answer to the problem of feral beasts encroaching on people's homes and gardens, councillors say.

Instead, people should take measures to make sure their homes and gardens are not fox-friendly by getting rid of food sources and hiding places.

Although one of Sutton's councillors says the solution to the problem could be to set up a central Government fund for councils to dip into if they have a problem.

Concerns about the numbers of urban foxes in London have been raised after allegations an animal got into a house in Downham and attacked four-week-old baby Dennie Dolan last week. Dennie is now recovering after having one of his fingers bitten off and receiving cuts to his face.

London mayor Boris Johnson said the "growing menace" of urban foxes needs to be addressed and raised the prospect of a cull. But Sutton's councillors say this may not be the best solution.

Councillor Jill Whitehead, chairwoman of Sutton Council's environment and neighbourhood committee said: "Foxes are a natural part of the biodiversity of the UK, however, it is recognised that fox densities in urban areas can be high.

"The only really effective way to deal with foxes is to use humane methods to deter them from gardens and surrounding areas. This does however require a sustained and long programme to achieve results."

Coun Lester Holloway added: "Boris Johnson has mentioned culls but certainly from what I've read they aren't effective and other foxes simply move into the territory of the fox that's been killed.

"If the Government recognises that this is a problem then I see no reason why there shouldn't be a fund that councils bid into to do things like block holes and encourage people to stop leaving food out."

The London Wildlife Trust says the best way to reduce the number of foxes in the capital is to stop feeding them and make sure food waste is kept in secure bins.

Have you had problems with urban foxes in Sutton? if so contact reporter Mike Pyle on 0208 722 6359 or mike.pyle@london.newsquest.co.uk.

Comments (13)

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2:39pm Tue 12 Feb 13

Krissi says...

Only problem I've ever had with foxes is that they don't take the parakeets that strip our cabbage plants- they do take the pigeons, squirrels and rats and mice though, I've seen the evidence- and our allotment is the better for them, but indoors, no, it isn't a place for them, and they might behave completely differently there, so if you have foxes nearby do make sure they can't get into the house as a frightened wild animal is unpredictable at best
Only problem I've ever had with foxes is that they don't take the parakeets that strip our cabbage plants- they do take the pigeons, squirrels and rats and mice though, I've seen the evidence- and our allotment is the better for them, but indoors, no, it isn't a place for them, and they might behave completely differently there, so if you have foxes nearby do make sure they can't get into the house as a frightened wild animal is unpredictable at best Krissi

5:40pm Tue 12 Feb 13

Michael Pantlin says...

I am delighted to find myself in complete agreement with the reported statements by Councillors Jill Whitehead and Lester Holloway on this one. Bumbling Boris has shot his mouth off without any evidence. I am annoyed that the foxes have been assumed guilty as soon as someone makes a mere allegation. The police have so far refused to comment whether the complaining woman kept a dog and one would expect the police to test for DNA at the scene to ascertain whether any fox or dog had been present. That man Barratt calling himself London Fox Control must be hoping for increased business for his contract fox killing with high tech firearms with night sights in peoples' back gardens. He says he offersa a "discrete" service and this will be when most of us are asleep and won't know. So watch out for your cat if he's around and the bullets are flying. Councils would do best to spend the money on telling daft parents not to leave their doors open especially in winter cold weather when they leave their baby along. Leave the poor foxes alone. They have a hard and short life and a lot of people welcome and appreciate them as they have every right too. If anyone interferes with my long time visitor and friend Freddy there will be trouble from me.
I am delighted to find myself in complete agreement with the reported statements by Councillors Jill Whitehead and Lester Holloway on this one. Bumbling Boris has shot his mouth off without any evidence. I am annoyed that the foxes have been assumed guilty as soon as someone makes a mere allegation. The police have so far refused to comment whether the complaining woman kept a dog and one would expect the police to test for DNA at the scene to ascertain whether any fox or dog had been present. That man Barratt calling himself London Fox Control must be hoping for increased business for his contract fox killing with high tech firearms with night sights in peoples' back gardens. He says he offersa a "discrete" service and this will be when most of us are asleep and won't know. So watch out for your cat if he's around and the bullets are flying. Councils would do best to spend the money on telling daft parents not to leave their doors open especially in winter cold weather when they leave their baby along. Leave the poor foxes alone. They have a hard and short life and a lot of people welcome and appreciate them as they have every right too. If anyone interferes with my long time visitor and friend Freddy there will be trouble from me. Michael Pantlin

9:55pm Tue 12 Feb 13

Azure1 says...

We have a fox that is always roaming around the flats and going to the toilet outside our front doors where we live. This is because one of our neighbours feeds it on a regular basis nice big pieces of juicy meat. I reported this to the Council but nothing was ever done.
We have a fox that is always roaming around the flats and going to the toilet outside our front doors where we live. This is because one of our neighbours feeds it on a regular basis nice big pieces of juicy meat. I reported this to the Council but nothing was ever done. Azure1

11:11pm Tue 12 Feb 13

Wait right there says...

Azure1 wrote:
We have a fox that is always roaming around the flats and going to the toilet outside our front doors where we live. This is because one of our neighbours feeds it on a regular basis nice big pieces of juicy meat. I reported this to the Council but nothing was ever done.
I bet foxes were there before your flats were built. Next you'll be complaining about the birds that fly around. If you take away their habitat they will adapt to survive. That's been the way of the world long before humans came along, it's only humans who have forgotten it.
[quote][p][bold]Azure1[/bold] wrote: We have a fox that is always roaming around the flats and going to the toilet outside our front doors where we live. This is because one of our neighbours feeds it on a regular basis nice big pieces of juicy meat. I reported this to the Council but nothing was ever done.[/p][/quote]I bet foxes were there before your flats were built. Next you'll be complaining about the birds that fly around. If you take away their habitat they will adapt to survive. That's been the way of the world long before humans came along, it's only humans who have forgotten it. Wait right there

11:43pm Tue 12 Feb 13

Michael Pantlin says...

Azure1 wrote:
We have a fox that is always roaming around the flats and going to the toilet outside our front doors where we live. This is because one of our neighbours feeds it on a regular basis nice big pieces of juicy meat. I reported this to the Council but nothing was ever done.
Asda's dog food goes down well as do their cheapo apple pies I find: It's not essential to go for steak. We all have to poo somewhere though I have found local foxes do not poo on the properties where they are offered a little hospitality. I detest baby poo between my toes as I walk from swimming baths changing rooms to poolside but it happens and is not the end of the world.
[quote][p][bold]Azure1[/bold] wrote: We have a fox that is always roaming around the flats and going to the toilet outside our front doors where we live. This is because one of our neighbours feeds it on a regular basis nice big pieces of juicy meat. I reported this to the Council but nothing was ever done.[/p][/quote]Asda's dog food goes down well as do their cheapo apple pies I find: It's not essential to go for steak. We all have to poo somewhere though I have found local foxes do not poo on the properties where they are offered a little hospitality. I detest baby poo between my toes as I walk from swimming baths changing rooms to poolside but it happens and is not the end of the world. Michael Pantlin

9:24am Wed 13 Feb 13

Azure1 says...

Wait right there wrote:
Azure1 wrote:
We have a fox that is always roaming around the flats and going to the toilet outside our front doors where we live. This is because one of our neighbours feeds it on a regular basis nice big pieces of juicy meat. I reported this to the Council but nothing was ever done.
I bet foxes were there before your flats were built. Next you'll be complaining about the birds that fly around. If you take away their habitat they will adapt to survive. That's been the way of the world long before humans came along, it's only humans who have forgotten it.
Wait right there it was never here all the time until this neighbour started feeding it. Foxes harbour many parasites and diseases and it is not very nice when the kids come out of the front door in the morning to go to school and there is fox poo outside. Dogs would not be allowed to go to the toilet outside our flats and if they did responsible owners would be expected to pick it up. I have lived here for over 10 years and we only had this problem when the neighbour started feeding it.
[quote][p][bold]Wait right there[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Azure1[/bold] wrote: We have a fox that is always roaming around the flats and going to the toilet outside our front doors where we live. This is because one of our neighbours feeds it on a regular basis nice big pieces of juicy meat. I reported this to the Council but nothing was ever done.[/p][/quote]I bet foxes were there before your flats were built. Next you'll be complaining about the birds that fly around. If you take away their habitat they will adapt to survive. That's been the way of the world long before humans came along, it's only humans who have forgotten it.[/p][/quote]Wait right there it was never here all the time until this neighbour started feeding it. Foxes harbour many parasites and diseases and it is not very nice when the kids come out of the front door in the morning to go to school and there is fox poo outside. Dogs would not be allowed to go to the toilet outside our flats and if they did responsible owners would be expected to pick it up. I have lived here for over 10 years and we only had this problem when the neighbour started feeding it. Azure1

12:36pm Wed 13 Feb 13

bodon prifiz says...

Azure1 wrote:
We have a fox that is always roaming around the flats and going to the toilet outside our front doors where we live. This is because one of our neighbours feeds it on a regular basis nice big pieces of juicy meat. I reported this to the Council but nothing was ever done.
What diseases that can be passed on to humans do fox's carry?? Fox's do not poo to near where foodstuff is left for them. Have you witnessed said fox doing this awful crime (their poo/wee has a very distinctive smell). Of course NEVER blame 'other' neighbours for open bins or littering or dirty nappies!!!!! JEESH!
[quote][p][bold]Azure1[/bold] wrote: We have a fox that is always roaming around the flats and going to the toilet outside our front doors where we live. This is because one of our neighbours feeds it on a regular basis nice big pieces of juicy meat. I reported this to the Council but nothing was ever done.[/p][/quote]What diseases that can be passed on to humans do fox's carry?? Fox's do not poo to near where foodstuff is left for them. Have you witnessed said fox doing this awful crime (their poo/wee has a very distinctive smell). Of course NEVER blame 'other' neighbours for open bins or littering or dirty nappies!!!!! JEESH! bodon prifiz

12:43pm Wed 13 Feb 13

Simon Densley says...

In nature a species will breed and increase in numbers until the available resources cannot sustain them. At that point the number that starve to death is roughly similar to the surplus births (assuming no natural predators). It's not pleasant but nature doesn't care about individuals. If foxes are starting to enter people’s homes looking for food it suggests the fox population has reached this point. By blocking holes and encouraging people to stop leaving food out we are effectively causing foxes to die anyway but in a way that allows us to feel no responsibility for their deaths. It is a delusion to think we are somehow acting more humanely by doing it this way. In many cases a quick bullet is more humane that the extended agony of starvation. Jill Whitehead needs to face up to the fact that decreasing the overall fox population is just a euphemism for causing foxes to die and as we humans have chosen to control our environment we should have the backbone to take responsibility for the unpleasant side of this just as much as the pleasant side. I agree that foxes are a natural part of our biodiversity and I have to admit I enjoy seeing the odd fox in my garden. However if we are going to decide to actively decrease their numbers, it is disingenuous to say that starvation it preferable to a quicker more humane death, just so we can convince ourselves we are not directly responsible.
In nature a species will breed and increase in numbers until the available resources cannot sustain them. At that point the number that starve to death is roughly similar to the surplus births (assuming no natural predators). It's not pleasant but nature doesn't care about individuals. If foxes are starting to enter people’s homes looking for food it suggests the fox population has reached this point. By blocking holes and encouraging people to stop leaving food out we are effectively causing foxes to die anyway but in a way that allows us to feel no responsibility for their deaths. It is a delusion to think we are somehow acting more humanely by doing it this way. In many cases a quick bullet is more humane that the extended agony of starvation. Jill Whitehead needs to face up to the fact that decreasing the overall fox population is just a euphemism for causing foxes to die and as we humans have chosen to control our environment we should have the backbone to take responsibility for the unpleasant side of this just as much as the pleasant side. I agree that foxes are a natural part of our biodiversity and I have to admit I enjoy seeing the odd fox in my garden. However if we are going to decide to actively decrease their numbers, it is disingenuous to say that starvation it preferable to a quicker more humane death, just so we can convince ourselves we are not directly responsible. Simon Densley

10:32pm Wed 13 Feb 13

232904 says...

wow, you lot. little petty with the baby poo comment!! i never encourage the foxes into my garden. I also have a dog, but they are always coming into my garden, (climbing over the fence) I often open back door to find a fox in the garden. But the fact remains we cannot have them creeping into our homes and attacking children!!!
wow, you lot. little petty with the baby poo comment!! i never encourage the foxes into my garden. I also have a dog, but they are always coming into my garden, (climbing over the fence) I often open back door to find a fox in the garden. But the fact remains we cannot have them creeping into our homes and attacking children!!! 232904

8:02am Thu 14 Feb 13

lordofzombies says...

we need more badgers it seems.
we need more badgers it seems. lordofzombies

3:32pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Krissi says...

we have both on our allotment- as well as the occasional hedgehog- and crows and magpies- if they come onto our plot -and I've only hears the badgers, most come to take the pests,insects, rats, mice and pigeons, that either steal or damage our crops- for which a bit of poo- and we don't get much of that if the crows are fed- is probably no worse than the dog mess in the parks and alleys we have to avoid from irresponsible owners- and I know that isn't all of them, or we'd really be in trouble and with a freezer bag it can be picked up and disposed of without any risk to anyone- though I wish I could teach them to get rid of the parakeets,the crows and magpies do drive them off - but then again people mostly like the parakeets- they can't hurt anyone-and they only destroy plants
we have both on our allotment- as well as the occasional hedgehog- and crows and magpies- if they come onto our plot -and I've only hears the badgers, most come to take the pests,insects, rats, mice and pigeons, that either steal or damage our crops- for which a bit of poo- and we don't get much of that if the crows are fed- is probably no worse than the dog mess in the parks and alleys we have to avoid from irresponsible owners- and I know that isn't all of them, or we'd really be in trouble and with a freezer bag it can be picked up and disposed of without any risk to anyone- though I wish I could teach them to get rid of the parakeets,the crows and magpies do drive them off - but then again people mostly like the parakeets- they can't hurt anyone-and they only destroy plants Krissi

3:38pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Krissi says...

I meant heard the badgers- and the other thing-foxes in the wild only live 18 months on average I heard- so every 18 months the fox in that territory will pass on- and it gives a window of time to fox-proof the garden before the new young generation moves in- so fox problem solved
I meant heard the badgers- and the other thing-foxes in the wild only live 18 months on average I heard- so every 18 months the fox in that territory will pass on- and it gives a window of time to fox-proof the garden before the new young generation moves in- so fox problem solved Krissi

11:34pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Michael Pantlin says...

Simon Densley says...
12:43pm Wed 13 Feb 13

"In nature a species will breed and increase in numbers until the available resources cannot sustain them. At that point the number that starve to death is roughly similar to the surplus births (assuming no natural predators). It's not pleasant but nature doesn't care about individuals."
Looking like it could go that way too with the excessive breeding of the human animal population.
Simon Densley says... 12:43pm Wed 13 Feb 13 "In nature a species will breed and increase in numbers until the available resources cannot sustain them. At that point the number that starve to death is roughly similar to the surplus births (assuming no natural predators). It's not pleasant but nature doesn't care about individuals." Looking like it could go that way too with the excessive breeding of the human animal population. Michael Pantlin

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