Mama Cat Trust in the newspapers!

Cruelty claim as Kentish Town resident arranges fox shootings

Neighbour calls in ‘marksmen’ to remove animals from garden

Published: 2nd June, 2011
by JOSIE HINTON

A QUIET street has become the centre of an animal rights row after “marksmen” were called in to shoot foxes.

Residents near Talacre Park in Kentish Town staged a protest after a neighbour used a pest controller to cull urban foxes that had been digging holes in his garden.

The man, who has asked not to be named for fear of being targeted by animal rights protesters, said the foxes were living 12 feet from his bathroom and that he feared this was causing hygiene dangers.

He said he was advised culling was the best form of action as trapping foxes and then abandoning them in the wild leaves them open to starvation and attack.

But Karen Heath, who runs Camden-based animal organisation The Mama Cat Trust, posted leaflets through his neighbours’ doors in a bid to halt the killing after she saw foxes being trapped in the garden.

She said: “I was so upset when I saw a trap in his garden with a baby cub trapped in it. It was in great distress.

“I begged him to let me deal with the problem for free in a humane way. I offered to cancel my animal rescue trip to help him but he wasn’t interested.

“There are other more humane ways to make your garden uninhabitable for foxes.”

Experts estimate there are 16 foxes per square mile in London.

They have become a divisive issue, portrayed as either furry friends or dangerous pests.

Last year, pest controllers called for widespread culls after nine-month-old twins Lola and Isabella Koupparis, from Hackney, were reportedly mauled by a fox as they slept in their cots.

Shooting foxes in urban areas is not illegal if the hunter has the correct licence.

Yasmin Allen, who lives in Malden Road, said it was “absurd” that residents are forced to apply for planning permission to cut down a tree but are allowed to shoot foxes.

She added: “On top of that it is taking place right next door to a primary school and I think the last thing we want children to be hearing is gunshots during the school day.”

The Kentish Town resident behind the cull said the foxes had since moved on and he is currently seeking advice on preventative methods to stop them returning.

He added: “I am completely opposed to unnecessary cruelty like hunting with hounds, but I was concerned by the fact that I had foxes 12 feet from my bathroom, and right next to and underneath part of a primary school playground.

“I was advised to retain a pest control company. I asked this com­pany about deterrent measures and employed chemical deterrent measures in tandem with humane trapping and destruction.

“Importantly, trapping and immediately abandoning foxes elsewhere is both illegal and extremely cruel, leading to starvation and attack by other foxes on the newcomers.”

Sue Royal, a spokeswoman from the ­RSPCA, said: “The most humane and long-term solution to discourage foxes from your garden is to remove or prevent access to what attracts them to the area.”

That was in the Camden New Journal followed by this in the Telegraph…….

Resident prompts anger after ordering urban foxes to be shot

A furious row has erupted amongst residents of a quiet middle class street after marksmen were deployed to shoot urban foxes.

Resident prompts anger after ordering urban foxes to be shot

Britain’s urban fox population is estimated to be about 30,000 Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

By Victoria Ward

7:00AM BST 04 Jun 2011

Neighbours staged a protest after one of their number called pest control services to dispose of the animals that were digging holes in his garden.

The irate man, who has not been named for fear of reprisals from the animal rights lobby, said the foxes were living near his bathroom and that he feared it was a danger to his hygiene.

He said he understood that culling them was the most effective way of dealing with the problem.

But when a local animal campaigner saw a fox cub caught in a trap in his garden, in Kentish Town, north London, she notified residents and organised a protest.

Karen Heath, who runs the charity The Mama Cat Trust, told her local newspaper: “I was so upset when I saw a trap in his garden with a baby cub trapped in it. It was in great distress.

“I begged him to let me deal with the problem for free in a humane way. I offered to cancel my animal rescue trip to help him but he wasn’t interested.

“There are other more humane ways to make your garden uninhabitable for foxes.”

The unnamed resident, from Kentish Town, north London, said: “I was advised to retain a pest control company. I asked this company about deterrent measures and employed chemical deterrent measures in tandem with humane trapping and destruction.

“Importantly, trapping and immediately abandoning foxes elsewhere is both illegal and extremely cruel, leading to starvation and attack by other foxes on the newcomers.”

Britain’s urban fox population is estimated to be about 30,000.

But the RSPCA insists that killing foxes is inhumane and ineffective.

A spokeswoman said: “Foxes are opportunists, searching for and defending areas with suitable food and shelter. In most cases the humane and long-term solution to discourage foxes from your garden is to remove or prevent access to what attracts them to the area.

“Some people suggest that the answer is to relocate or destroy foxes. However, destroying a fox will often simply encourage foxes from other areas to move in and take their place. In addition, moving foxes from one area to another is not appropriate in terms of disease management or considered humane.”

Foxes are becoming such a nuisance in urban areas that residents are increasingly hiring pest controllers to shoot them in the night.

A similar revolt against such slaughter took place last year when residents of a quiet cul-de-sac complained to property managers that the animals were fouling on the path and digging holes in the grounds.

Marksmen were called to the estate in Roehampton, south west London, and used live ammunition to kill up to ten foxes.

City dwellers blame the ever-bolder animals for digging up bulbs and lawns, burrowing into compost heaps and ripping bin bags in search of food.

Twins Lola and Isabella Koupparis were mauled by a fox as they slept in their cots at home in Hackney, east London, in June.

The nine-month-old girls both suffered arm wounds and Isabella was left with facial injuries after the animal got in through an open door.

Pest control marksman visited the £800,000 Victorian terrace, laying fox traps in the garden and one animal was subsequently killed.

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