with Horse and Hound

Urban Foxes

urban fox4

If the lives of 10,000 foxes per year have been saved by the Hunting Act of 2004 in England, and if four cubs in each litter survive to mate each succeeding year, how many foxes and their progeny have been exponentially added to the formerly sustainable fox population in the countryside and where have they gone? Why, to the cities, of course.

Foxhunting Life gets mail, even from Sunny Sutton in London. Here’s one recent exchange.

Can you please send a ‘hunt’ through Sunny Sutton. I think we’ve more foxes that you’d find in the countryside! This beneficial culling ban is brain dead. I am sick of my bins being rifled through with the contents strewn across the pavement.

I am tired of their vocal displays at night. The Urban Areas are not the appropriate locale for this vermin.

There is nothing I can do, save try to run the buggers over—not efficient as means of dispersal! Bloody ridiculous situation.

I’m sorry for your plight. I’m certain the foxes would rather be in the countryside, too, instead of rifling through trash bins in the city. However, the majority of urban voters in England fell for the animal rights rhetoric and voted for the Hunting Act, which effectively banned foxhunting. Now there are too many foxes in the countryside to support the fox population, and many are forced to move to the city to find food.

Hopefully, the next time a vote on hunting with hounds comes up, you can convince your neighbors to vote a reversal of the ill-conceived Hunting Act altogether.

Dear Mr Fine, I give up with today’s blatant stupidity where everything has rights and must be PC-protected! Yet they are busy slaughtering each other in our towns and cities!

The astonishing thing is that no vigourous protest, as on the established ‘balanced’ pursuit of fox (vermin) hunting, seems forthcoming on the murders around.

But thank you for taking the time to reply to me.

According to The Guardian (UK), foxes have surged into England’s towns and cities. Researchers estimate there are 150,000 urban foxes in England. Bournemouth, a coastal resort town on the English Channel with a population of nearly 200,000 has the highest concentration of foxes—twenty-three per square kilometer as compared to eighteen in London. A study estimates that the urban fox population in England has quadrupled over the last twenty years.

The Guardian notes that there have been widely reported cases of foxes killing young children and maiming babies in cities. That seems hard to believe, but the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) dismisses the reports with a traditional “stiff upper lip” by commenting that “such incidents are rare”!

The article goes on to quote numerous theories by various researchers, all too timorous to even suggest that England’s Hunting Act of 2004 has upset the balance of a regular culling program previously provided by foxhunting.

Prior to implementation of the Hunting Act, nearly three hundred foxhunts in England killed more than 20,000 foxes a year. For whatever reasons, a sustainable fox population was maintained in the countryside. Simple mathematics suggests that the number of foxes saved by the ban, plus their progeny, increasing exponentially over the thirteen years since the ban, have increased the number of foxes in the countryside to a population far greater than can be sustained. Where are those foxes to go?

Sorry, Ruggero.

Posted November 18, 2018