Southmead Hospital fox cull halted following public outcry

Posted on the 8th September 2017

Following public protest, the Chief Executive of North Bristol NHS Trust, Andrea Young, has written to Animal Aid confirming that no foxes have been harmed on the grounds of Southmead Hospital.

In August 2017, the Bristol hospital sparked outrage following reports proposals to cull a family of foxes who live on the hospital site. This resulted in mass media coverage, and a petition signed by thousands of animal lovers.

Southmead Hospital was quoted as saying that the foxes could enter the maternity ward through an open window and potentially attack new born babies. In Animal Aid’s initial letter to Southmead Hospital, evidence was provided to suggest that this is nothing more than scaremongering. Animal Aid also provided the hospital with a copy of their Fox Advice Sheet and Alternatives to Culling report which outline the many ways to humanely deter foxes from an area.

The hospital paused all action against the foxes in response to the complaints received.

The hospital’s letter to Animal Aid states that due to our intervention and the comments made by the public, the hospital has contacted humane wildlife deterrence specialists Fox-A-Gon. Further, Fox-A-Gon has also put them in touch with Secret World Wildlife Centre to help treat a fox on site who appears to be unwell.

Says Animal Aid Campaigner, Tod Bradbury: 

‘We are delighted that Southmead Hospital has confirmed that no foxes will be killed on site, and that they are seeking advice from humane deterrence service Fox-A-Gon.

‘Culling foxes usually involves trapping and shooting them – which is not only cruel, but an ineffective way of resolving conflicts with urban foxes; if a fox – or indeed a family of foxes – is killed, new foxes will quickly take over the vacant territory. As such the government recommends the use of non-lethal methods of deterrence instead.

‘We thank Southmead Hospital for making this compassionate and sensible decision, and we hope that they can serve as a positive example for other hospitals, companies, or individuals in similar situations.’

Notes for editors

  • Animal Aid’s original letter to Southmead Hospital and Andrea Young’s response are available on request.
  • For more information, please contact Tod Bradbury on tod@animalaid.co.uk / Tel: 01732 364546 ext 223.

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