I don't like foxes. I'm not one of these deluded people who think they're all cute and fluffy. I'd like to get on the back of a muscle packed stallion and chase one across the countryside and then know that it's been killed by some dogs.
But it's not that I dislike animals; quite the contrary. I'm a huge animal lover. I've been vegetarian for the past 18 years despite dreaming about steak (not one of those ghastly preaching ones, though), I actually communicate often like I'm a bloody cat and I do generally prefer animals to people. It's my love of animals, particularly the gorgeous ones I live with, that I want a bit of equilibrium to be restored and man to be the natural predator of foxes again.
For years in the suburbs there have been urban foxes causing a nuisance: ripping bins apart, screaching into the night and stinking and being infested with fleas. They don't run when they see a human; why should they? What can we actually do? They're the ones with sharp teeth and rabies. We should run from them.
And we know from news reports that foxes attack people and maul children. Those people who feed foxes and encourage them into urban areas think that sleeping children provoked a fox into scarring their faces and chewing their arms but this is bullshit.
My first pet, a rabbit called Christopher was killed by a fox who just took his head. Over the years we all came to know foxes as pet killers as a series of fluffy animals were taken as trophies despite our best efforts to keep them safe. Now we keep chickens and cats and it's another round of ensuring that people watch them even during the day and that all animals are locked up at night.
This morning I woke up to a text message from my friend who lives near saying that her kitten was killed last night by foxes.
Yes, you 'animal rights ban hunting stop pest control' people: a kitten was killed by a fox. You with all your 'save me' posters of foxes didn't have to clean up that one in your garden, did you.
So I had a look to see what can be done about dealing with the fucking pests. Here's the government website. Essentially, in much the same way as people have been told for the last decade about rape and burglary, it's your responsibility to stop it happening to you.
Blocking empty living spaces
If the space is occupied by foxes (or other animals) it’s illegal to trap them by blocking the entrance. Instead, wait until the foxes stop using the space and then block the entrance before the next breeding season, which lasts from December to May...
Legal protection for foxes
It’s against the law to treat foxes cruelly. Find out more information on foxes and the law on pages six and seven of 'The red fox in rural areas'.
And of course make sure there's no rubbish anywhere and don't fly tip. Of course, there's more rubbish around since we don't get it cleared up ever week (landfill directive) and more fly tipping (weee directive) so thanks EU.
In the mean time, if you've got a fox which is making your life unpleasant, remember that the last Labour government thought it more important than you. Perhaps we should get some changes included in this Great Repeal Bill?