Foxes aren’t vermin


For the first of our Fox Myth Monday series, we will be discussing the myth that foxes are ‘vermin’.
No other native British mammal divides opinion as deeply as the red fox. We believe the evidence does not support the criticism of this iconic British species. While foxes are of course predators – they kill other animals for food – their impact on livestock is exaggerated, and can be reduced with good farming practices. #DidYouKnow that a 2000 study in #Scotland found that around just 1% of lamb losses could be directly attributed to foxes? This shows that poor farming practices, disease and bad weather are far more likely to lead to lamb deaths.

Hunts occasionally use this myth as an excuse to hunt foxes. A study reports that between 1995 and 2017, fox numbers in the UK dropped by 41%. This goes against claims made by pro-hunting groups that fox numbers have increased since the ban on fox hunting in 2005.

To end fox hunting for good, the Hunting Act needs to be strengthened by removing the loopholes and exemptions being exploited by the fox hunts to cover up their brutal activities. The introduction of prison sentences for those convicted of fox hunting would help ensure there is a strong deterrent to prevent the deliberate and widespread chasing and killing of foxes.

There are 191 fox hunts operating in Britain today, 14 years after the Hunting Act 2004 was enacted that outlawed the practice. In total, hunts can go out almost 10,700 times a year – and each time a fox’s life is put at risk. This cruelty must stop. No animal deserves to be persecuted in the name of ‘sport’ simply for the fun of it.