Are foxes vermin?

Are foxes vermin?

We’ve all heard and seen the terror stories of the fox - of a vicious predator that attacks our pets and babies, of an urban menace that isn’t to be trusted or approached - but are these stories a fair reflection of this iconic British animal?

Indeed, if the press is anything to go by they’d have you thinking foxes are a threat to our very existence and a vermin that needs to be eradicated - but is this strictly true? Despite the continuing insistence of those who have historically sought to justify killing them for sport or, in the case of old fashioned ‘pest controllers’, for profit, foxes are not and have never been legally classified as ‘vermin’.

For a start, we must remember that we destroyed their habitat to build our own, and even in urban areas foxes pose few problems other than being an occasional nuisance. Whilst Boris Johnson has called them a menace and even gone as far as urging London councils to tackle the “menace” of urban foxes, the truth is that they actually play a pivotal role in keeping mice and rat numbers under control. If it weren’t for foxes then it is quite possible that major cities would be overrun by much more troublesome animals with disease spreading potential.

The other myth is that urban foxes are vicious predators that attack pets and babies. This couldn’t be further from reality. Such incidents are incredibly rare and foxes only attack out of fear, and tend to shy away from humans and larger animals unless provoked. Whilst foxes may approach houses, they only do so because of the high potential of finding a possible food source, and will almost always back away when people approach them.

Rather than just blasting anything that moves, there are several different human methods to deter foxes from a particular area. Most fox nuisance can be broken down into three main areas: Digging, fouling and noise and are natural fox behaviours.

If you’re looking to deter foxes for any of these reasons we highly recommend repellents such as Scoot and Get Off which are safe mammal repellents which will not cause any harm to foxes. We would also recommend Fox-a-Gon, Humane Wildlife Solutions and Foxolutions – organisations that are specialised in humane solutions.

Check out other related FAQ's

How do I report illegal fox hunting?
What are terriermen?
Is fox hunting a sport?

featured merchandise

Profits raised from sales help our campaigns and help fund
anti-hunting groups across the country.

See more products

Join our mailing list today 

Keep up-to-date with our 'Friday Round Up' of the past week’s wildlife news
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form