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Thread: Urban Fox Hunts anyone?

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    Senior Member Mr Muckspreader's Avatar
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    Default Urban Fox Hunts anyone?

    The tragic case of a fox attacking a baby and attempting to drag it out of the baby's home this week highlights the problem of foxes in towns and cities.

    Much has been made in the media of the problem and should councils have 'urban hunts' to rid the towns of this pest. Well being a rural dweller who had the means of controlling foxes outlawed by an urban government who did not understand how nature works, I can't help thinking "Well you reap what you sow".

    The whole idea of having a hunt in an urban environment for a wily animal such as a fox is clearly a nonsense, (Though the idea of mobs on mountain bikes charging around through garden fences, with staffy bull terriers in tow does raise a rye smile). I have been in the company of urban dwellers who have made social capital of the pet fox in their back gardens that they feed tit bits to every night.

    Perhaps they would now like to modify their behaviour for the greater good and a publicity campaign to that end might persuade them.
    I would suggest that to get a grip on the problem, the cash strapped councils will have to find a way to employ trained marksmen to kill foxes for a prolonged period. This would be necessary as one fox is killed, another fox moves into the vacated territory. So you would have to kill foxes over a prolonged period before you saw a noticable decrease in the population or the nuisance.

    What do forum members think?

    Mr Muckspreader

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    I'm wondering if there is a link between the increase of incidents like this and the banning of foxhunting. A friend of my wife had all her chickens killed by a fox recently. Foxes are clearly multiplying out of control in the countryside and are spreading into urban areas. It's high time the public realised that foxes are vermin and not cute and cuddly animals. I wouldn't want to see them hunted to extinction but they do have to be controlled ... they have no natural predator.

    I always love the hypocrisy of how Labour banned foxhunting (despite having virtually no MP's in rural areas) on supposed "animal welfare" grounds after ignoring an independent report into the sport which they themselves commissioned ... and yet they allow the Halal butchery of animals to continue.

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    Senior Member Rook's Avatar
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    I had no issue with fox-hunting and couldn't understand the fuss made of it by my fellow 'urban dwellers'. But fox hunting was not primarily about pest control, let's not kid ourselves about that. There are better, easier, more effective ways of pest control - which are (IIRC) still available to be used. I am doubtful of any link between the ban and this supposed increase in fox attacks (which are still incredibly rare). I think the best option for councils, is a simple information campaign - don't leave doors/windows ajar, place rubbish inside bins etc.

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    Fox attacks on humans are as rare as being stuck by lightening, dog attacks, now your talking. So who is the pest here? No talk of culling dogs I notice. But then there wouldn,t be would there, because the dog is our best friend, or is it ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mack View Post
    Fox attacks on humans are as rare as being stuck by lightening, dog attacks, now your talking. So who is the pest here? No talk of culling dogs I notice. But then there wouldn,t be would there, because the dog is our best friend, or is it ?
    There are 5 million dogs in the country, and nearly all of them live in close proximity to humans, so comparisons between dog and fox attacks are hardly fair. In fact, most dog attacks can be blamed on irresponsible owners, such as the moron chavs on council estates who own Pit Bull terriers as "status dogs".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northumbrian View Post
    There are 5 million dogs in the country, and nearly all of them live in close proximity to humans, so comparisons between dog and fox attacks are hardly fair. In fact, most dog attacks can be blamed on irresponsible owners, such as the moron chavs on council estates who own Pit Bull terriers as "status dogs".
    Whats not in any way fair, is to , consider this extremely rare attack on a child, to be a good reason to believe in hunting the fox. Nothing against containing fox numbers, but come on , how knee jerk is this?

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    Senior Member Mr Muckspreader's Avatar
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    Default Dog's best friend?

    Whats not in any way fair, is to , consider this extremely rare attack on a child, to be a good reason to believe in hunting the fox. Nothing against containing fox numbers, but come on , how knee jerk is this?
    I have to say I agree it is very much knee jerk, but I would consider that foxes will pose a problem for both humans and their pets in an urban environment. Also the more foxes there are the more hungry they will become. That is why they were controlled in the countryside. In any population, there will be a certain percentage who are predators and the rest will be prey. Now, when we, (humans), go and upset that by farming livestock for agriculture or clumping together in towns and cities the whole thing goes out of balance and so you either live with it (With occaisional consequences as we have seen) or you control it.

    Fox attacks on humans are as rare as being stuck by lightening, dog attacks, now your talking. So who is the pest here? No talk of culling dogs I notice. But then there wouldn,t be would there, because the dog is our best friend, or is it ?
    Dogs are predators just like foxes are. It's only because dogs have got a relationship with man that is as basic as 'You feed me every day and take me for walks and I'll knock all that hunting in packs stuff on the head' that keeps the majority of them quiet. Stop feeding dogs for a while and see what happens. As we have seen in recent times even well behaved dogs can go 'off message' and revert to their basest instincts.

    I had no issue with fox-hunting and couldn't understand the fuss made of it by my fellow 'urban dwellers'. But fox hunting was not primarily about pest control, let's not kid ourselves about that. There are better, easier, more effective ways of pest control - which are (IIRC) still available to be used.
    Where I live fox hunting was mainly about pest control. Have you ever seen the mess that a fox can make of a chicken coup or a new born lamb? The 'knobs' were definitely in the minority at hunt meets. The majority were farmers and tenant farmers at that. There are other ways of pest control but nearly all that I have seen have their down sides in animal cruelty and cost. About the best would be a marksman shooting the vermin, however I would not advocate this for built up areas for obvious reasons.

    Mr Muck.

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    Senior Member Rook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Muckspreader View Post
    Where I live fox hunting was mainly about pest control. Have you ever seen the mess that a fox can make of a chicken coup or a new born lamb? The 'knobs' were definitely in the minority at hunt meets. The majority were farmers and tenant farmers at that. There are other ways of pest control but nearly all that I have seen have their down sides in animal cruelty and cost. About the best would be a marksman shooting the vermin, however I would not advocate this for built up areas for obvious reasons.
    No form of pest control is perfect, but hunting them with dogs and horses has got to be the least effective. You and other country-folk can still shoot, trap and poison them I believe?
    Last edited by Rook; 02-14-2013 at 09:24 AM.

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    Senior Member Mr Muckspreader's Avatar
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    No form of pest control is perfect, but hunting them with dogs and horses has got to be the least effective. You and other country-folk can still shoot, trap and poison them I believe?
    I agree that no form of pest control is perfect. Of the three methods you mention trapping would possibly be the most humane. The main problem is actually finding a fox or where a fox lives. This is where the hounds do come in handy, and why I would disagree with your assertion that hunting foxes "with dogs and horses has got to be the least effective". On the contrary, if you are are dealing with a moving animal they are the most effective.

    The alternative is to spend hours tracking an animal or trying to find their burrows. Then spending hours with a gun waiting to get a shot at it. The other option is to put poison down which runs the risk of being eaten by some other animal and not the fox. Lastly you could put a trap up, which I concede would probably be the most effective. This I would recommend if they are going to cull foxes in urban areas.

    Mr Muck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rook View Post
    No form of pest control is perfect, but hunting them with dogs and horses has got to be the least effective. You and other country-folk can still shoot, trap and poison them I believe?
    I have to agree with Muckspreader here (wonders will cease!). Hunting foxes with hounds doesn't have to be incredibly effective ... just effective enough to ensure the fox population is not breeding out of control. It is also arguably more humane I would say. Being torn apart by dogs may not sound a pleasant way to go, but it is over in seconds - a fox which has been trapped, poisoned or shot in the leg could survive for hours or days in agony.

    I think people should remember that if it was not for humans, foxes would have a natural predator - the grey wolf - controlling their numbers. All we were doing by hunting with dogs is replacing the role of Canis lupus with Canis lupus familiaris in the life of foxes ... a fair exchange don't you think?

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