There's no need for culling after fox attacks baby - Chris Packham

There's no need for culling after fox attacks baby - Chris Packham

A fox attack on a baby has revived culling debate

Chris Packham

First published in Environment
Last updated

WILDLIFE presenter Chris Packham said culling of foxes was not needed - because people encouraged them into towns by throwing food on the ground and into bins.

The Southampton nature expert was talking after reports that a baby had been attacked by a fox in London.

The child's mother was alerted by his screaming and rushed into his room to see his hand lodged "halfway down the animal's throat".

Surgeons were able to reattach a finger and he was said to be recovering well.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said more must be done to tackle the growing problem of urban foxes.

He said: "They may appear cuddly and romantic but foxes are also a pest and a menace, particularly in our cities.

"This must serve as a wake-up call to London's borough leaders, who are responsible for pest control.

"They must come together, study the data, try to understand why this is becoming such a problem and act quickly to sort it out."

But Chris Packham said culling was not needed.

He said instead people had to stop throwing food on the ground and into bins since that was contributing to a rises in numbers in urban areas.

An RSPCA spokeswoman said the only reason a fox would attack is due to fear.

She said: "It's extremely unusual for foxes to attack young children or anyone.

"It's not typical fox behaviour at all. Foxes will come closer to a house if there are food sources. Then they can become quite bold, but they usually do back off and run away when there's people around."

The issue of foxes attacking humans has divided the public, with many sceptics questioning recent cases amid fears of a backlash against urban foxes.

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