POLL: Should foxes be culled to protect domestic pets?

Animal lovers are calling for a cull to stop wild animals killing their pets including a cat whose head was eaten by a fox.

But the RSPCA and local councils said the animals can only be controlled by humane methods, rather than culling.

Demand for pest control services to kill urban foxes usually spikes after Christmas, when large amounts of food are thrown away, and during mating season in March and April.


A fox walks along a garden fence in West London. In the years between the two World Wars, Britain’s suburbs pushed deep into the fox’s natural habitat in the countryside, and many foxes in turn headed for the inner city. (Jim Dyson / Getty Images)

Julia Gray, from Twickenham, south west London, had her 13-year-old cat, Annie, killed by a fox in her garden in March last year.

She returned home one night to find foxes had killed Annie and even eaten her head.

Ms Gray said she did not want any other domestic animals to suffer the same fate, and has called for Richmond Council to open a discussion around fox culling.

She said: “There was fur everywhere and I found her with her head eaten. It was horrific.

“A few years ago there were hedgehogs in our garden and one winter, on the lawn, foxes dug the hedgehogs out of hibernation and ate them.

One owner says its cat’s head was eaten by a fox – Photo by Getty

“I love all animals but I fear for all our small domestic animals as well as other wildlife creatures, in particular the hedgehogs.”

There was fur everywhere and I found her with her head eaten. It was horrific

Julia Gray

Another local added: “I’m sick of these ASBO foxes. We used to get loads of lovely birds and squirrels in our garden but now there aren’t any because the foxes have eaten them all.

“Something needs to be done.”

Abi Holloway, from nearby Teddington, said she recently had chickens and a tortoise killed by foxes.

She said: “We went away one weekend and we came back to found them completely annihilated.

The RSPCA and local councils said the animals can only be controlled by humane methods – Photo by Getty

“The foxes ate their heads. It was very sad.

“And once they dug up a tortoise which had been buried for winter.

“I came back one morning to find they had dug him up, Reginald the tortoise. He was very lovely.

“You do your best to protect the chickens; we dug the wire fence very deep and it was high, but the foxes are very clever.

“They managed to climb a tree and get in through the top.”

Fox cull specialist Tom Keightley said he had received extermination requests from residents who struggle to protect animals kept in gardens from foxes.

He said noise, especially during mating season, and excrement left in gardens were two common complaints.

A number of gruesome cat deaths within the M25 had previously been linked to a human, dubbed the ‘Croydon Cat Killer’, but the accepted wisdom is that foxes are responsible.

The RSPCA argued a cull would be unnecessary and may not actually be effective since other foxes, as territorial animals, would move to take over in an area which had seen a cull.

Richmond Council said it does not support or practise lethal control, instead advising residents on humane solutions.

Richmond Council said it does not support or practice lethal control – Photo by Getty

Councillor Pamela Fleming, the council’s member for environment, said: “The most humane and natural way to control the fox population is to limit their food supply. The less food there is for them to eat – the fewer there will be.

“Storing your food waste securely and recycling it not only stops foxes and other animals tearing open black sacks, but it can be converted into energy and fertiliser. It also reduces waste.

“There are people who see a family of foxes and decide to put food out, but this doesn’t help.”

In 2015 Hackney Council, in east London, scrapped plans to “humanely trap” and destroy foxes in one of its parks, after thousands of outraged people complained.

This article was first published by The Express on 26 Jan 2017.

We invite you to share your opinion whether foxes should be culled to protect domestic pets? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page:

Should foxes be culled to protect domestic pets?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Thank you for voting.


Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter





Founder and Executive Editor

Share this page with your friends

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

tobias harvey
tobias harvey

Cull the Fox and you will simply have a Rat infestation, just like we have in my area, Foxes eat Rats, I know which one I’d rather have.

Sunetra Banerjee
Sunetra Banerjee

No! They should not be culled. Period!

Stephanie Lund
Stephanie Lund

No! If you don’t want to see foxes move to the countryside, they are in towns and cities because of people like you. And if you don’t want foxes getting to your chickens, put a roof on the run, simple.

Tao Pan
Tao Pan

“I love all animals but I fear for all our small domestic animals as well as other wildlife creatures, in particular the hedgehogs.” LOL. Aren’t wild animals supposed to eat other wild animals?

Janice Wood


Laurajo Nuggy McNuggnuggs

No just keep an eye on ur pets

Elizabeth Thrackerzod Cappelano

Absolutely not!

Phyllis Hafer

Hell no !

Sheba Kaboha


Lynn J Ceccarelli


Louella Smith

No way that’s a piss poor excuse bloody cull the disgusting low life people who hurt the elderly children and vulnerable animals

Jessica Reed

No way

Paul Rowan Sefton

No they should not

Olli Haukkovaara


Stephen Rigden

We don’t have foxes here probably because of the coyotes who live in the woods behind our home. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources get frequent complaints. Fortunately, their standard response is that coyotes are endemic to this part of the country and if you build houses where there are coyotes you can expect to see coyotes in your garden.

Ian Robinson

Personally I think we need to cull a lot of stupid greedy people but each to their own….

Adam Cheeseman

Cats aren’t native wildlife and kill in excess of 50 million birds per year, let alone all the moles, voles, mice, bats, frogs, toads etc they take.

Paul Mabbott

Better to do something about the excess number of cats!

Mandy Fae Verdi Ryan

Absolutely not!!! And cats can’t be trained like dogs…. its not the owners responsibility. Cats hunt….

Simon Tucker

I think the vote says it all: 98% say No to a cull – and there isn’t a single comment attached to the article that supports it.

Adam Cheeseman

Nope. Cull the cats.

Dianes Sawyer

What a load of bollox of course they shouldnt be culled, i think i will open a poll to cull thick fucken people …

Gary Brian Prescott

Unbelievable! In no way should any wildlife be culled because of pets. The lack of control of cats is a problem cause d by owners. I like cats but I remember the frustration of having cats coming into my garden when i wanted a wildlife garden with birds.

Kenneth Richard Carden


Mick Wright

No, Rubbish reporting, the cat was dead and the fox may have eaten some of it then. Cull the cars, too many animals killed by cars none are killed by Foxes. Cull the cats to protect our wildlife.


I have watched my small cat chase our fox down the road. Foxes are afraid of cats.

Darren Matthews

Yet more bollocks being pushed by the cull and kill brigade

Geoff Barter


Ashley Anderson

You don’t half spout some rubbish ‘Focusing on wildlife’!!! Either you’re pro hunt or you are not capable of getting the correct information and facts!
DOGS kill MORE domestic animals AND Wild animals AND stock (farm) animals then any fox ever could or ever will! Infact, dogs kill MORE animals than ANY other animal does or ever will!
Do you think we should call on a ‘dog cull’???


We have very few indigenous species left in this country. Leave them be. They’ve had to adapt to living in towns and cities because we’re taking away their natural environment. Mans arrogance never ceases to disgust me.

Jo j
Jo j

Foxes are harmless creatures and consider cats as an equal species not prey. This article should be taken down feeding false information about the innocent species! Any small animal such as rabbits is down to the owner to be responsible enough to ensure the enclosure is secure . It’s humans who are taking over their land not foxes they have every right to be there. Foxes come into my garden all the time and I have several species of pets yet I am not worried because I know they are harmless. If you can say this then I suppose you… Read more »


NO! and this is absolute crap!!! I wish these pro-hunt idiots would stop making up sensational fairy tales to sway the public! LEAVE OUR FOXES ALONE!!!!!

Dawn Nelson

No. But they shouldn’t be petted either they are and should be treated as wild animals

Jackie bone
Jackie bone

no leave them alone

Dave Moore


Margaret Ellis
Margaret Ellis

Foxes are no threat to domestic pets. I have lived in my present house which adjoins woodland, for over 35 years and all that time have kept at least three domestic pets (mainly cats and a couple of small dogs) at any one time. Alao all that time successive families of foxes have lived in the woods and visited the garden daily fot titbits. Never once in all those years has there been any sign of an attack by a fox. On the contrary foxes are very timid animals and always defer to the cats. They will share food with… Read more »

Jeanette Sinclaire
Jeanette Sinclaire

I feed foxes in my garden , they are beautiful , timid animals. I have 9 cats and not one of them has been harmed by a Fox …..in fact I watched two of them playing with the youngest Fox . this is probably propoganda written by the hunting fraternity , whose starving hounds are more liable to kill pets than any Fox would .

Steve West

Should domestic pets be culled to protect foxes?


I have video footage going over Three years of daily feeding of foxes in my orchard, the nightly feed shows foxes, cats, fox Cubs, hedgehogs, and even on occasions a rat all eating in line facing the camera! I have never ever recorded any attack by foxes ( sometimes as many as 6 in one go ) on any cat or hedgehog? Interestingly I have footage of a cat attacking a fox who cowers and runs off because the cat did not want to share its nightly feed. Another interesting fact is when a hedgehog ( sometimes 4 or 5… Read more »


this is a discusting article the fox is a timid animal not a blood thirsty monster! shame on you for printing this rubbish i vote NO all the way


Foxes only kill where there are easy pickings. If you allow tortoises to bury where insecure or don’t secure livestock you may have problems. There is so little space and so much food waste

Elsa Byleveldt

Why are the foxes pushing into human space. Are we just breading and there is nowhere for them to feed and life.

Mo Askew
Mo Askew

Definitely not – why are we intent on killing off all our wildlife

Lesley-Anne harper
Lesley-Anne harper

leave the foxes alone why do humans have the right to decide what does and doesn’t live on this planet!!!

Everett Davis

No pet owners are responsible for the welfare of their pets.

Wally Nussbaumer



What a ridiculous question and what a disgustingly stupid piece of biased, ignorant, anti-fox reporting! leave the timid fox alone! If foxes were as stated here, the whole of London would be a blood-bath with dead cats all over the place!
The fox is a friend and essential to keep down rodent and therefore rat populations, especially in built-up areas. In the countryside they do the same and save arable farmers at least 70k per year through keeping down rabbit and rodent populations..

Liora Levin

so cute

Carol Thompson

No leave them alone. Harmless

Cynthia A Thompson

Right back to NO..just hell NO!