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  • Relocated or more to the point 'dumped' urban foxes will possibly re-home over very long distances.

    One radio collared vixen was released 56 kilometres away from her home territory and was back home in just twelve days.

    Exeptional foxes have homed up to 150 kilometres.

     

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    Through networking with other professionals dealing with urban wildlife it is totally clear that the information available in the public domain regarding urban foxes is very limited and inconsistent.

    This is no more clear when somebody phones you up on a Friday evening asking you to come round on saturday morning to place poison around there garden because they have had enough of the foxes.

    Not only does the mixed and sometime illegally inaccurate information result in mixed messages, but lack of public and professional understanding regarding legal possible treatments and control measures.

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    Over twenty years ago, when some local authorities undertook fox control, a few did trap a small number of foxes in towns and released them into the surrounding countryside. However, they soon stopped doing this.

    Occasionally private pest control companies carry out this same practice today they have been paid to trap.

    Whilst few animals are involved, it is still highly irresponsible in terms of disease management and aninmal welfare.

    The trapping and releasing of urban foxes may contravene The Animal Welfare Act 2006 (Causing Unnecessary Suffering).

    Although we know some pest control companies continue to do this; it has not yet been tested in a UK Court of Law. The question is would the Crown Prosecution Service deem it to be in the 'public interest' to bring on such a case.

    The 'dumped' fox would have to compete for it's own space. Rural foxes are much more territorial than urban foxes and would kill another fox on their territory.

    Dumped urban foxes would head straight to buildings as that is what they associate with food. In that building could be 10,000 chickens or small livestock.

     

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    The peak of the fox breeding season was at the begining of the month; however, I have heard reports of foxes mating as early as October last year. It goes to show that nature is totally unpredictable with changes going on around us all the time.

    The screams and yelps heard at night can send shivers down your spine.

    The Police are known to be regularly called out at this time of the year to reports of hearing somebody being attacked; only for it to be a couple of foxes mating over fighting !!!

    Foxes only breed once a year. Keen 'salesperson's' would have you believe that they breed every 6 weeks like rodents if it would improve their sales figures and commission.

    As the month continues, the vixen will be actively investigating different potential places to give birth to her cubs and raise them until they disperse.

    These locations are usually under garden sheds, decking, under floor boards accessed via missing air bricks, cavity wall voids, raised banking, false ceilings, boiler rooms etc.

    If she does give birth in a particular location and is disturbed to much she would have already planned other remote locations already investigated and planned for nearby.

    After the breeding season and a lot of fighting between sub-ordinants; a quiet lull may be fairly noticable.

    Areas with easy food pickings are always favourite locations such as a harbour close to a town centre or on a wildlife reserve where ground nesting birds will make easy pickings.

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