Fox Control Management

Fox Management (foxhunting by hounds)

False claim : Foxhunters claim that hunting with hounds is the most humane method of killing foxes. They claim that the fox is either killed by a quick bite to the neck or escapes unhurt.

This false claim has been dismissed by a study of foxes killed by hounds above ground and submitted for post-mortem examination indicated that the animals died from profound trauma inflicted by multiple dog bites rather than a quick bite to the neck. Hunting with hounds did inflict suffering, stress, pain and trauma both in the chase and kill.

(Ref : Fox Management IFAW Biological Sciences, University of Bristol & Environment Department, University of York)


Fox Management (Shooting)

As the majority of foxes currently killed are taken by shooting, which is generally viewed as the most effective form of fox control, this is the method most likely to increase in prevalence in the future.

A recent study by the Middle Way Group compared the ability of people with different levels of shooting expertise to hit a life-size target of a fox with either a shotgun or rifle. The authors concluded “under common field conditions, for every fox shot dead with a shotgun, at least the same number of foxes are wounded and many of these are never found” i.e. a 50% wounding rate. Thus the importance to tighten gun control laws to ensure only trained, qualified, with tested competence marksmen are only permitted to dispatch wildlife.

(Ref : Fox Management IFAW Biological Sciences, University of Bristol & Environment Department, University of York)

Gun Licenses and Shooting Animals

The Police have issued over 2 million gun licenses in the UK. A good shot is not a requirement to obtain a license.

In Britain there is no close season for foxes, and no legal restrictions on the types of guns or ammunition that can be used to shoot foxes.

The United Kingdom and Ireland (and some regions of Spain) are the only European Union countries where there is no mandatory examination of competence prior to being allowed to shoot live animals.

It would clearly be sensible to consider whether examinations of competence in the use of shotguns should be introduced to ensure that high standards of welfare are maintained.

Therefore gun regulation laws need to be introduced to ensure humane Animal Welfare practices are met and any shooter is a proficient accurate shot (i.e accurate target shot tests) before allowing inexperienced shooters to dispatch animals and prevent the growing number of trophy hunters.

Fox Management Conclusion

Humane Control:

The general fox population does not need to be controlled, as foxes are self-regulating.

Fox numbers have not increased.  Reducing the fox population would have a negative effect on the balance of nature and an increase in the number of rats, mice, rabbits.

It has been proven that fox hunting is both an ineffective and cruel form of fox control

However :
If deemed necessary and proven guilty without doubt that a fox is causing a problem with-in an area and needs to be dispatched, … then this should then be done humanely by a qualified, trained and licensed shot marksman. Regulated and policed correctly.

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