London fox cull halted after public outcry

Posted on the 5th May 2017

A London estate agent’s plan to cull a family of foxes who have taken residence on the grounds of an apartment block which the agents manage has been halted, following an outcry by local residents.

Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward had alerted residents in the block that a ‘pest’ controller would be setting up traps to ‘trap and remove’ the foxes – despite the letter not specifying any issues that foxes had been causing local residents. Following this, concerned residents took to social media to express their disgust and horror at the thought of the foxes being culled. Whilst the term ‘remove’ is used in the letter, it is illegal to trap wild animals and move them to other locations – therefore the animals would have been shot.

Support was galvanised from other members of the public via Twitter, and also had the backing of animal protection and conservation campaigner Chris Packham, as well as celebrity doctor Dr Christian Jessen.

Animal Aid’s Wildlife Consultant wrote to Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward to urge them to cancel plans to cull the foxes after being alerted to the situation by one of our supporters. We highlighted how culling is not only cruel, but pointless – once a family of foxes is ‘removed’ from an area, a new family will often take over the vacant territory within a few days. And we additionally advised on humane alternatives.

Following our email, we received a response from Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, informing us that the they would be removing the trap and seeking other resolutions by consulting the local residents. Animal Aid has been able to advise the estate agent of various methods and humane fox deterrence companies to use – namely Fox-A-Gon whose experience shows that lethal fox control is cruel and unnecessary.

Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward’s Block and Estate Management have informed us that they will be meeting with local residents to discuss the ‘fox situation’ and how best to resolve any issues involving wildlife going forward.

Speaking of the incident, local resident Peter King comments:

‘Upon receiving the letter informing me of the fate that awaited the foxes, I immediately sprung into action by informing the management company that they were in breach of their director’s duties by not acting in the best interests of all Shareholders – which includes all flat-owners. I then circulated a letter to all flat-owners calling on them to request an emergency Shareholders Meeting. Following this I mounted a social media campaign which gained support from celebrities and animal rights groups; this pressure resulted in the management company removing the trap. The task now is to gather as much support as possible amongst the other flat-owners to pass a resolution at the Shareholders Meeting, resolving that the Board will never again use lethal means to control foxes. Rest assured, I will continue to keep two watchful eyes on the situation. I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure no foxes are harmed in my name, on my doorstep.

Thank you very much indeed to Animal Aid for their timely intervention. Without that support, and the support of everyone on social media, we would not have been able to remove the danger to the foxes so quickly.’

Animal Aid Campaigner, Tod Bradbury, says:

‘We are very pleased that Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward have made the humane and sensible decision to remove the trap and look into non-lethal methods of deterrence. It is great to see a company reacting positively to the public’s concerns. We also want to thank the local residents for taking action against the culling, without their swift action and pressure, the situation could have been very different. Animal Aid hopes Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward will serve as a positive example to other companies in similar situations.’


Notes for editors


  • For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Tod on 01732 364546 ext. 223
  • A copy of Animal Aid’s initial email to Kenleigh Folkard & Hayward is available on request.

If you are having any issues with foxes or other urban wildlife, there are humane methods of deterrence available and most of the time these are very simple and easy. You can download our humane deterrence fact sheets here.

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