Fox bites off baby’s finger in Bromley
The story triggers two debates:
1. Kill the fox
London Mayor Boris Johnson tells The Mail on Sunday:
“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.”
2. Property maintenance. The Mail notes:
The fox had crept into the house through an open back door, which was apparently awaiting repair by the council.
The baby’s finger has been reattached. But what about the fox? In October 2012, we read:
A family has called for the culling of foxes after one crept into their south London home and headed towards a baby’s bedroom.
Joseph Gillinder found a fox in his hall just yards away from where his four-month-old daughter Violet was sleeping. Mr Gillinder, 31, and his partner, Vix Henstock, 28, said that foxes circle their neighbourhood in Bromley at night and they feared that one could harm Violet.
“I dread to think what one could do to a small baby. I’m not normally for any kind of culling but when it comes to situations like this, I think a culling might be in order.”
Kill them all? Bromley council advises:
How do you control them?
Our policy, in line with all of the neighbouring authorities, is to discourage the fox population from increasing without physically harming them. This is achieved by advising residents to stop doing things that might encourage foxes. These include:
Remove the attraction
The most likely reason for a fox to enter your garden is in search of food.
If you use bags for your rubbish, only put them out on the morning of collection
Make sure all domestic animals and livestock are securely caged or fenced in
Do not leave food out for other animals, for example food for cats, dogs, or rabbits. Be extremely careful when putting food out for birds – ideally this should be in approved feeders
Clear away fruit that has fallen from trees
Bring toys, shoes etc inside at night as cubs like to chew these items and play with them.
Seal holes and get rid of hiding places
Foxes may also be attracted to your garden as it may provide a safe place to shelter by day or night. This may be due to neglected areas of holes beneath a building.
Keep your garage, greenhouse and shed doors closed
Ensure that air bricks leading under your house are in good repair
Secure fencing and block any gaps
Prickly plants around the garden may also deter foxes.
Buy some hounds…