Letter: After the hunt Bill

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WHY DO so many MP and others say that foxes need culling? When we farmed 86 acres in Devon where there were plenty of rabbits and other fox food, there was no increase in fox numbers in eleven years. Nor did we lose any of our 500 free-range poultry, who were able to roam anywhere on the farm.

We had a fox earth and a badger sett on the farm. We did not interfere with our foxes. We understood wildlife and took every precaution, not allowing hens to nest in hedges and always shut up houses at night.

It is useless for gamekeepers to shoot, snare and poison every fox on their estates, when other foxes will soon replace them from outside. Two keepers I knew had a more sensible solution: if a vixen was seen taking rabbits and other "fur" to her cubs, she was saved. But if a vixen was taking "feather" to feed her cubs they were all destroyed to prevent these cubs killing birds when adult. In time these keepers would have fewer foxes to kill, and rabbits, rats and mice would be kept down by the resident foxes, to the great advantage of the game birds.

ERIC ASHBY

Ringwood, Hampshire

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