How are foxes controlled?

The Council will offer practical advice and information about foxes and how we can make our homes and the streets less attractive to them.

It is the abundance of food and shelter and almost a complete absence of predators that has enabled the fox to thrive in urban areas. The answer to controlling them comes down to just two practical measures, denying them a regular source of food and shelter. Therefore, if we, as a community, reduce the availability of food and places to shelter, fox numbers will reduce, as will the number of rats, feral pigeons and seagulls.

Some people think the Council should start culling foxes, but such a measure is not only extremely expensive, potentially dangerous and very unlikely to succeed. There was a nationwide program to cull foxes that ran for more than 30 years, but fox numbers did not noticeably decline.

Newly-vacated territory is quickly occupied by other foxes, often within days. Moreover, killing simply brings about less competition for food and territory and the mortality rate for the remaining foxes will decline.

Some pest control companies will kill foxes. If you decide to employ someone to kill a fox on your property you need to understand that you will be responsible for the costs of killing and disposing of the animal (which can be considerable). And the territory of a culled fox will be quickly re-occupied by another fox.