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Jam Lady

Sniper Shooting London Foxes

What's your opinion?

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/07/world/forget-the-hounds-as-foxes-creep-in-britons-call-the-sniper.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0
Nick

I'm certainly more worried about a sniper with a rifle operating in a city than I am about foxes being there.
Rob R

Quote:
Clare, a lawyer with three children who also had the foxes in her garden shot, did not want her last name published, saying “there are probably more people who want to shoot people who shoot foxes, than people who want to shoot foxes.”


Quite.

Quote:
“Killing animals is cruel; I wouldn’t do it to Terry any more than I would do it to a fox,” said Ms. Reddy, 53, who runs a fox help line and South London ambulance service.

“It’s also pointless,” Ms. Reddy continued. “For every fox you kill, another one will move in.”


How exactly do they work that out? Foxes don't replicate like bacteria, either they're already out there are dying through lack of territory or you reduce the density with every one that's taken out.
Pilsbury

I'm certainly more worried about a sniper with a rifle operating in a city than I am about foxes being there.
there are quite a few licenced hunters around here.
I remember seeing on one of the police shows a group of men armed with high powered rifles were wondering a country park that's pretty much surrounded by housing,turns out they had been employed to cull some of the deer in the park.
I'm happy for the foxes to be shot, I wish my neighbour was allowed to trap and shoot in his back garden as it backs onto a railway line and when I drive down my street at night there must be between 5 and 10 foxes trying to get into wheelie bins for a snack.
Hairyloon

Quote:
Britain has the world’s highest known density of urban foxes, the result of their self-colonization in cities here since the 1930s.

So it is nothing to do with the amount of food put out in the bins for them?
Pilsbury

Who puts it in the bins? Half the fools round here feed them
Hairyloon

Who puts it in the bins? Half the fools round here feed them

Saves them tipping the bins over to get it.
Treacodactyl

Re: Sniper Shooting London Foxes

What's your opinion?

Slightly ill informed, foreign, reporting. Probably like our papers report on US hunting.

I've never known someone who shots foxes call themselves a sniper. Pest controller normally, or just someone who shoots. We don't use silences in the UK but sound moderators. Foxes also don't just dig flower bulbs but any new planting as they look for worms and they'll dig if you use bone meal or if there's rodents about etc, etc.

But yes, there are lots of urban foxes in the UK and yes it's quite common for them to be shot. I'm also not aware of any accidents caused by shooting in urban areas.
vegplot

Sniper is a deliberate term used to equate culling of foxes with warfare.

However, I prefer sniper to "person with gun who can't reliably hit the target".
stumbling goat

I recall that in a recent Autumn Watch in which Chris Packham focused on a foxes in Brighton, as one fox was removed from a territory another moved in. Shooting is a short term result. Until the new fox on the block takes up residency.

sg
Rob R

I recall that in a recent Autumn Watch in which Chris Packham focused on a foxes in Brighton, as one fox was removed from a territory another moved in. Shooting is a short term result. Until the new fox on the block takes up residency.

sg

Where is this endless supply of new foxes supposed to be coming from, is someone keeping a stash of them in a cupboard somewhere? If not it sounds like utter tripe.
JB

Shooting is a short term result.

Not for the fox!
Cathryn

I recall that in a recent Autumn Watch in which Chris Packham focused on a foxes in Brighton, as one fox was removed from a territory another moved in. Shooting is a short term result. Until the new fox on the block takes up residency.

sg

Where is this endless supply of new foxes supposed to be coming from, is someone keeping a stash of them in a cupboard somewhere? If not it sounds like utter tripe.

You get a male fox and a female fox (talk to Natalie). Territories /areas don't stay empty whether they are in a town or countryside. Are territories held by vixens? I don't know enough about their behaviour but I doubt there are many places without foxes.
Rob R

I recall that in a recent Autumn Watch in which Chris Packham focused on a foxes in Brighton, as one fox was removed from a territory another moved in. Shooting is a short term result. Until the new fox on the block takes up residency.

sg

Where is this endless supply of new foxes supposed to be coming from, is someone keeping a stash of them in a cupboard somewhere? If not it sounds like utter tripe.

You get a male fox and a female fox (talk to Natalie). Territories /areas don't stay empty whether they are in a town or countryside. Are territories held by vixens? I don't know enough about their behaviour but I doubt there are many places without foxes.

The article says that it takes just four days for a new one to come along, it doesn't add up.
Cathryn

Good grief I didn't read the article but I imagine that there are plenty of foxes seizing any opportunity. Pilsbury

Shoot a Fox and another one comes along, shoot that and another one comes along, shoot that one....
what do you think will happen first, we will run out of foxes, we will run out of bullets or they will be a reduced and more sustainable population.
I beleive mice and rats breed faster than foxes but I think every chicken keeper is happy to keep baiting them and shooting them but if another one moves in why bother?
Urban foxes are vermin and the state of them, underfed, mange, bold, it really is time the populations were dramatically reduced.
Rob R

Good grief I didn't read the article but I imagine that there are plenty of foxes seizing any opportunity.

Plenty, yes, but where are they? Either they have another territory or they're inhabiting some kind of no man's land.
Pilsbury

Their urban territory is much much much smaller than their country counterparts, as I mentioned my road has 140 houses, 70 backing onto the railway lines and there are loads living on the sidings , under sheds and in bushes where they can.
I think we could cull a dozen and there would still be a few roaming, there is so much food available through scraps and bins that the population density is ridiculously high.
the population co habits in a way that is not what I would consider natural so to thin them out a bit would do no harm at all overall.
Hairyloon

Urban foxes are vermin and the state of them, underfed, mange, bold...
Last fox I met in London was a magnificent beast, and I'm not sure "bold" is the right word: a bit like saying that the Sistine chapel chapel is quite a good painting.
Presumably there is some kind of pecking order.
buzzy

If I lived in a city with an urban fox problem I'm sure I'd rather have them culled by the likes of Phil than have forty red-coated horsemen (and women) and a pack of hounds come crashing through my garden.

Henry
Rob R

The answer is surely for all the people who like them to live in one city, and all the people who don't to live in another, then live catch all the foxes from the second city and move them to the first. Or country. Mistress Rose

I think that as has been inferred but not actually said, if a fox is killed the one who has adjoining territory will expand into it, so probably not a new fox, just the one from next door. The only urban fox I have ever seen was a mangy looking thing, while our country foxes are nice and fluffy and far better looking in both looks and health.

I understand that the local hunt hadn't seen a fox for years because the famers shoot them round here. Mind you, after having had a bit of a problem with the local hunt I think some of it could be ineptitude. Have you ever tried getting rid of a lovely friendly hound who just won't go home?
dpack

waste less food,feed less foxes,trap n dispatch as a constant task.

that would thin em a lot and make territories larger which would maintain lower populations and probably improve the general heath of the surviving foxes

apart from to the urban chook keepers etc i dont recon the urban radjel is much of a problem and a few might be useful to clear up after cat kills,kebab abandonment etc etc .
Hairyloon

A new line in fur coats perhaps? Treacodactyl

Foxes can be much more of a problem than just taking chickens. They can strip all fruit within their reach unless it's heavily fenced, dig up large areas of a veg plot, and not only does their urine stink it is also a vector for various diseases. Fine if you're the type of person who doesn't use your garden perhaps.

I tend to think some foxes learn how to do things and can be more troublesome than others - so culling those would seem logical.

I also don't really understand peoples desire to domesticate wild animals and feed them all the time. I think this can lead to problems as foxes loose fear of humans and can be encouraged either very close or actually into homes looking for food. I've known people feed foxes every day and then go on holiday for a few weeks so you see several hungry foxes mooching about and following you around wondering where there dinner is.
dpack

i didnt know about the fruit n veg issues as it hasnt been foxes eating my veg .it would be rather annoying and they are a bit bigger than slugs. Jam Lady

O.K. This has morphed into a "how bad are foxes in general and city foxes in particular" thread. That's fine.

I'm curious though - was the NYTimes piece a one-off article, or was there anything about shooting London foxes in any U.K. newspapers?
Treacodactyl

This is the only recent thing I can find: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/wildlife/11234476/London-council-issues-advice-on-shooting-foxes.html

That may have spawned a couple of US newspaper stories by the look of it.

It's not unusual for the odd story to appear in the news about shooting foxes in urban areas, often after someone's had a close encounter with a fox indoors.
dpack

backstop ,frangible round ,suppressor ,tell the local police .

same basics as in the boonies and urban foxey is a goner with no bother to the neighbors

traps dont sleep and make it easier .

i recon rpg fox control would be fun in a city Twisted Evil

"i think there is a fox living under my shed"

whoosh bang

"not any more £200 please "
Tavascarow

I recall that in a recent Autumn Watch in which Chris Packham focused on a foxes in Brighton, as one fox was removed from a territory another moved in. Shooting is a short term result. Until the new fox on the block takes up residency.

sg

Where is this endless supply of new foxes supposed to be coming from, is someone keeping a stash of them in a cupboard somewhere? If not it sounds like utter tripe.
As more territory becomes available foxes from nearby territories have more bins to raid & consequently have larger stronger litters when they breed. It's not instant but that's the way it works.
The best way to control a population is to remove the food source.
Rob R

I recall that in a recent Autumn Watch in which Chris Packham focused on a foxes in Brighton, as one fox was removed from a territory another moved in. Shooting is a short term result. Until the new fox on the block takes up residency.

sg

Where is this endless supply of new foxes supposed to be coming from, is someone keeping a stash of them in a cupboard somewhere? If not it sounds like utter tripe.
As more territory becomes available foxes from nearby territories have more bins to raid & consequently have larger stronger litters when they breed. It's not instant but that's the way it works.
The best way to control a population is to remove the food source.

Removing the food source and shooting would be more humane though.

Our neighbours used to blame my dad for 'his rats' coming into their immaculate garden to eat the birdfood...
12Bore

backstop ,frangible round ,suppressor ,tell the local police .

same basics as in the boonies and urban foxey is a goner with no bother to the neighbors

traps dont sleep and make it easier .

i recon rpg fox control would be fun in a city Twisted Evil

"i think there is a fox living under my shed"

whoosh bang

"not any more £200 please "
Not quite, but...
I once demolished a neighbour's shed with a 12 Bore, got the rats that were living under it too! Laughing
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