London council offers advice on shooting foxes, but says urban pest should be starved first and foremost

Wandsworth council claims ‘shooting is not usually appropriate in urban areas’ but doesn’t rule it out

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Sunday 16 November 2014 17:02
Comments
Wandsworth council
Wandsworth council

A London council has been found to offer advice to residents on shooting foxes, among other methods, in an effort to deal with the urban pest.

Wandsworth council has re-stated its advice to residents in the borough that the “most humane and natural way” to control the fox population is to starve them, but also discusses shooting and baited cage traps as other forms of pest control.

It has urged residents to purchase dust-bins in an effort to “limit [foxes] food supply” and stop the animals from eating food scraps in rubbish held in plastic bin liners that are left on the street for collection.

The Conservative-run council has been forced to re-issue its guidelines after a resident in Tooting began campaigning on social media for the council to supply wheelie bins in an effort to stop foxes ripping apart peoples’ rubbish bags in the search for food.

Wandsworth council has advised residents to buy their own dustbins

The general guidelines published on the council’s website also offer advice on legal and illegal forms of controlling the urban fox population, claiming that residents who wish to shoot the animals must take care to ensure the safety of the public.

“Shooting is not usually appropriate in urban areas, but where it is carried out, care must be taken to ensure the safety of the public and other wildlife,” the council states.

“If a vixen is shot during breeding season, the den has to be traced and the whole family of cubs humanely killed.”

A spokesperson for Wandsworth council said it "does not advocate" the shooting of foxes or using baited traps, but claimed these practices are not illegal. The council's guidelines only state that poisoning or releasing trapped foxes into unfamiliar surroundings outside their home range are against the law.

In contrast, Enfield council states that residents “must never shoot, poison or use dogs against foxes as this is inhumane and you could be prosecuted”.

Other councils claim shooting foxes is inhumane, and could lead to prosecution

The council adds that snaring and baited cage traps “can be used successfully” in urban areas but captured foxes then have to be “humanely killed by shooting or by a vet”.

Wandsworth council said that snaring is a legal method of fox control but snares must be visited at least once a day as they pose a risk for other domestic animals.

The council makes clear that it “does not deal with foxes” and that the responsibility of pest control lies with the landowner.

A spokesman for the council said it urges residents to buy their own dustbins with lids to keep foxes out of their rubbish, keep places clean and to help combat litter.

“Wheelie bins are unsightly, block the pavement and tend to generate a higher amount of waste. We don’t have the resources to pay for dustbins and we think it is up to people to make that decision for themselves,” the spokesman said.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in