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

Updated on in News

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.

Most read

People who read this also read

Comments

12:39pm Sun 10 Feb 13 The Wickham Man says…

Chwis Packham is usually right when he talks about wildlife because he speaks without any of the mawkish anthropomorphised sentimental pap that comes from people who describe themselves as "animal lovers".

  • Score: 0

1:02pm Sun 10 Feb 13 J.P.M says…

Lets have a competition. What is the greatest risk to health and safety of our young a. Pit Bulls b. Cars c. Foxes I think the facts are pretty clear - when you ignore the witch-hunt media.

  • Score: 0

1:08pm Sun 10 Feb 13 Pikey Pete says…

I think we should bring back "Packman hunting" Dont know why it was outlawed in the first place. While we are at it. Cats should be killed as well. Or at the least given a great big bell to warn birds they are coming. Just like morris Men.

  • Score: 0

1:13pm Sun 10 Feb 13 100%HANTSBOY says…

**** Pete wrote…

I think we should bring back "Packman hunting" Dont know why it was outlawed in the first place. While we are at it. Cats should be killed as well. Or at the least given a great big bell to warn birds they are coming. Just like morris Men.

Yeah and all Dogs' knobs, like you, should be banned from this site as well!

  • Score: 0

1:17pm Sun 10 Feb 13 alanrr says…

"a fox ate my baby".....nobody believed the dingo woman why believe this story

  • Score: 0

1:21pm Sun 10 Feb 13 Pikey Pete says…

alanrr wrote…

"a fox ate my baby".....nobody believed the dingo woman why believe this story

If there was cat around Called Morris with a great big bell. Might have scared the dingo off.!! What were you doing in Marewell park enclosure anyway with a baby.

  • Score: 0

1:24pm Sun 10 Feb 13 Lockssmart says…

J.P.M wrote…

Lets have a competition. What is the greatest risk to health and safety of our young a. Pit Bulls b. Cars c. Foxes I think the facts are pretty clear - when you ignore the witch-hunt media.

You forgot....... D) Paulsgove

  • Score: 0

1:34pm Sun 10 Feb 13 elvisimo says…

The Wickham Man wrote…

Chwis Packham is usually right when he talks about wildlife because he speaks without any of the mawkish anthropomorphised sentimental pap that comes from people who describe themselves as "animal lovers".

Usually right with great ideas like letting pandas die out, elephant culls and cat curfews. Hmmm

  • Score: 0

1:36pm Sun 10 Feb 13 kingnotail says…

Can we cull dog owners please?

  • Score: 0

1:54pm Sun 10 Feb 13 The Wickham Man says…

elvisimo wrote…

The Wickham Man wrote…

Chwis Packham is usually right when he talks about wildlife because he speaks without any of the mawkish anthropomorphised sentimental pap that comes from people who describe themselves as "animal lovers".
Usually right with great ideas like letting pandas die out, elephant culls and cat curfews. Hmmm

Yes absolutely, and you are proving my point by listing the "lovable" species as though they deserve special protection. They don't. Packham is dispassionate, thoughtful and insightful in his views - For Pandas he questioned whether it was worth spending such a big percentage of funds on one species while others were also endangered. So why is that wrong? For the second he showed that overpopulation will only lead to more elephant deaths and pictures of heartbreak as babies dies of thirst or starvation. Is that what you want to watch on TV? Thirdly he pointed out that cats are artifically protected by humans and have no restrictions on the slaughter of songbirds and fledglings. Putting a bell on a cat does not harm it and it does no damage at all except to enable us to enjoy all our songbirds, not just those that nest out of reach, like magpies, pigeons and collared doves. In what possible way can you thiunk that is wrong? Do you think TIddles gets embarrassed and hurt feelings by carrying a bell? A cat's instinct to hunt is not impacted by the bell, only its chances of killing something, so there is no problem, is there? . Hmmm indeed.

  • Score: 0

2:06pm Sun 10 Feb 13 elvisimo says…

The Wickham Man wrote…

elvisimo wrote…

The Wickham Man wrote…

Chwis Packham is usually right when he talks about wildlife because he speaks without any of the mawkish anthropomorphised sentimental pap that comes from people who describe themselves as "animal lovers".
Usually right with great ideas like letting pandas die out, elephant culls and cat curfews. Hmmm
Yes absolutely, and you are proving my point by listing the "lovable" species as though they deserve special protection. They don't. Packham is dispassionate, thoughtful and insightful in his views - For Pandas he questioned whether it was worth spending such a big percentage of funds on one species while others were also endangered. So why is that wrong? For the second he showed that overpopulation will only lead to more elephant deaths and pictures of heartbreak as babies dies of thirst or starvation. Is that what you want to watch on TV? Thirdly he pointed out that cats are artifically protected by humans and have no restrictions on the slaughter of songbirds and fledglings. Putting a bell on a cat does not harm it and it does no damage at all except to enable us to enjoy all our songbirds, not just those that nest out of reach, like magpies, pigeons and collared doves. In what possible way can you thiunk that is wrong? Do you think TIddles gets embarrassed and hurt feelings by carrying a bell? A cat's instinct to hunt is not impacted by the bell, only its chances of killing something, so there is no problem, is there? . Hmmm indeed.

I am quite capable of reading his comment. You do really need to waste such a large amount of your time rephrasing them, especially in such patronising manor. I don't find his arguments remotely sensible. We need to cull deer but not urban foxes? Perhaps he should experience them first hand.

  • Score: 0

2:42pm Sun 10 Feb 13 Linesman says…

I agree with Chris Packham. This is a 'one off' incident, and should not be taken as a licence for the blood-thirsty to go on a killing rampage against foxes. I can recall reports where a pet cat has slept on a sleeping baby and smothered it, but nobody thought to exterminate cats. Likewise with dogs that have savaged and maimed, and even killed children. Although those that have been identified have been put down, there have been cases where they have not been identified, and this was not used an excuse for a mass slaughter. Parents need to be aware of possible dangers, and protect their offspring accordingly.

  • Score: 0

3:19pm Sun 10 Feb 13 SPIKEISLANDTRADER says…

Beef burgers will be next , and processed meals . Can we cull politicians , they are the vermin of life , but lets start with The BIG MAC

  • Score: 0

3:26pm Sun 10 Feb 13 sparkster says…

hey thats not a bad idea about politicians! I think the problem is to some extent, foxes are being driven out of their habitat with more houses being built and i agree we need more houses but they are being driven further into urban areas in the search for food. At the end of the day you cant cull everything because of one incident

  • Score: 0

4:37pm Sun 10 Feb 13 Niel says…

Perhaps Chris should revisit him alma mater and try to educate the current s-too-dense not to drop food and other rubbish, but put it in the bins provided...

  • Score: 0

5:01pm Sun 10 Feb 13 geoff51 says…

Much as I feel sorry for the child if this is the truth of the matter it all comes down to the banning of foxhunting which has allowed the fox population to massively increase which means they have to move into towns for food. If the status quo had been allowed to continue and foxhunting had continued the balance of Fox numbers would be kept. Now the bunny huggers are reaping what they have sown. Also please do not feed urban foxes as it only encourages them into town.

  • Score: 0

5:07pm Sun 10 Feb 13 elvisimo says…

Whilst I agree the legislation against hunting was rediculous I don't think the absence of it has a direct impact on the number of foxes in London

  • Score: 0

5:34pm Sun 10 Feb 13 freefinker says…

geoff51 wrote…

Much as I feel sorry for the child if this is the truth of the matter it all comes down to the banning of foxhunting which has allowed the fox population to massively increase which means they have to move into towns for food. If the status quo had been allowed to continue and foxhunting had continued the balance of Fox numbers would be kept. Now the bunny huggers are reaping what they have sown. Also please do not feed urban foxes as it only encourages them into town.

Foxes have been moving into urban and suburban areas because the resources they need to survive are there – more often than not provided by our own species. There is no fox explosion in the countryside due to the hunting ban. The hunt was only responsible for about 4 or 5% of all fox fatalities. Motor vehicles, shooting, disease, starvation and old age accounted for the remaining 95%. Indeed, during WWII and the foot and mouth epidemic, when hunting did not take place, there was no fox population explosion at all.

  • Score: 0

5:57pm Sun 10 Feb 13 S Pance says…

if people didn't discard so much partially eaten food and rubbish, foxes wouln't come into cities, period! put your rubbish in the bin, guys!

  • Score: 0

6:20pm Sun 10 Feb 13 David Icke says…

Whilst i do agree with alot of things Packam says, to be truthful, this isn't the first time he or any other naturist has said this kind of incident is a one off when it has happened. I can think of three in the past year due to, as has also been stated, food being a major issue. Culling is certainly not the answer though i think, maybe just humans being more aware and vigilant of their actions and surroundings. If the lady knew the door wasn't working properly for example, and some person wandered into her property with a child about, it could have been alot more dangerous?

  • Score: 0

6:40pm Sun 10 Feb 13 cantthinkofone says…

J.P.M wrote…

Lets have a competition. What is the greatest risk to health and safety of our young a. Pit Bulls b. Cars c. Foxes I think the facts are pretty clear - when you ignore the witch-hunt media.

d. Gideon "George" Osborne

  • Score: 0

6:43pm Sun 10 Feb 13 The Wickham Man says…

David Icke wrote…

Whilst i do agree with alot of things Packam says, to be truthful, this isn't the first time he or any other naturist has said this kind of incident is a one off when it has happened. I can think of three in the past year due to, as has also been stated, food being a major issue. Culling is certainly not the answer though i think, maybe just humans being more aware and vigilant of their actions and surroundings. If the lady knew the door wasn't working properly for example, and some person wandered into her property with a child about, it could have been alot more dangerous?

If you are going to try and use someone else's name to get more kudos than you actually deserve the first thing you need to do is understand the difference between "naturist" and "naturalist", and perhaps to spell "Packham" correctly might suggest you can concentrate on something with accuracy. But as your name implies, you cannot grasp basic details correctly, and you have taken aim with a shotgun at both your own feet and pulled the trigger. Why should anyone listen to anything you say?

  • Score: 0

6:44pm Sun 10 Feb 13 The Wickham Man says…

elvisimo wrote…

The Wickham Man wrote…

elvisimo wrote…

The Wickham Man wrote…

Chwis Packham is usually right when he talks about wildlife because he speaks without any of the mawkish anthropomorphised sentimental pap that comes from people who describe themselves as "animal lovers".
Usually right with great ideas like letting pandas die out, elephant culls and cat curfews. Hmmm
Yes absolutely, and you are proving my point by listing the "lovable" species as though they deserve special protection. They don't. Packham is dispassionate, thoughtful and insightful in his views - For Pandas he questioned whether it was worth spending such a big percentage of funds on one species while others were also endangered. So why is that wrong? For the second he showed that overpopulation will only lead to more elephant deaths and pictures of heartbreak as babies dies of thirst or starvation. Is that what you want to watch on TV? Thirdly he pointed out that cats are artifically protected by humans and have no restrictions on the slaughter of songbirds and fledglings. Putting a bell on a cat does not harm it and it does no damage at all except to enable us to enjoy all our songbirds, not just those that nest out of reach, like magpies, pigeons and collared doves. In what possible way can you thiunk that is wrong? Do you think TIddles gets embarrassed and hurt feelings by carrying a bell? A cat's instinct to hunt is not impacted by the bell, only its chances of killing something, so there is no problem, is there? . Hmmm indeed.
I am quite capable of reading his comment. You do really need to waste such a large amount of your time rephrasing them, especially in such patronising manor. I don't find his arguments remotely sensible. We need to cull deer but not urban foxes? Perhaps he should experience them first hand.

Manor? as in Lord of the ....? Anyway, I agree you are right about deer, but how does that make his other comments wrong?

  • Score: 0

6:56pm Sun 10 Feb 13 bobbyboy says…

Here we go again the questions that needed to be asked was 1 how did a fox get in (its winter and doors should have been closed) 2 how did it get upstairs before someone noticed it was in the house. 3 where is the photographic evidence (would have been worth a fortune to the media) 4 Boris wants Fox hunting to return for his Buddies As a Tory supporter and animal wildlife person in Chris Packham's old neck of the woods and a fox feeder i can assure the peoples of Southampton that if this did happen and with out evidence i dont think it did urban foxes are scared of peoples, cats, dogs. and anything else that moves or makes a noise(i have photographic proof) dont believe go out and study them takes a few times and many hours of sitting there quietly but its possible. So we dont need a cull like the poor Badgers we have to stop controlling all aspects of creatures that share this earth with us and when building new estates make sure there is a wildlife corridor for animals to pass through unharmed by us. On the subject you can all help hedgehogs by making a small hole in your garden fences from one garden to another so that they can pass through clear your slugs and snails and with luck not get squashed on roads BY US.

  • Score: 0

7:19pm Sun 10 Feb 13 MGRA says…

its not a "one-off" incident. Only a total idiot would think that. Wild foxes that are losing or territorially are NOTurban foxes... they are fish out of water and will become dangerous. This was an obvious consequence of the ban on fox hunting but due to life-spans of foxes the consequences are only maturing about now.....without fox hunting there is no economically neutral way of controlling foxes.... I am against blood sports but this is simply a consequence.

  • Score: 0

7:23pm Sun 10 Feb 13 cantthinkofone says…

93% of foxes are islamic too. True fact.

  • Score: 0

7:32pm Sun 10 Feb 13 freefinker says…

MGRA wrote…

its not a "one-off" incident. Only a total idiot would think that. Wild foxes that are losing or territorially are NOTurban foxes... they are fish out of water and will become dangerous. This was an obvious consequence of the ban on fox hunting but due to life-spans of foxes the consequences are only maturing about now.....without fox hunting there is no economically neutral way of controlling foxes.... I am against blood sports but this is simply a consequence.

.. oh dear, see mine at 5:34pm above. The hunt used to kill 12-16,000 fox pa. Compare that to snares 100,000, gun 100,000, road accidents 60,000 and you will see that hunting had a very minimal effect on fox populations. Hunting was done for so called 'fun' - most definitely not as an effective pest control operation.

  • Score: 0

7:35pm Sun 10 Feb 13 cantthinkofone says…

freefinker wrote…

MGRA wrote…

its not a "one-off" incident. Only a total idiot would think that. Wild foxes that are losing or territorially are NOTurban foxes... they are fish out of water and will become dangerous. This was an obvious consequence of the ban on fox hunting but due to life-spans of foxes the consequences are only maturing about now.....without fox hunting there is no economically neutral way of controlling foxes.... I am against blood sports but this is simply a consequence.
.. oh dear, see mine at 5:34pm above. The hunt used to kill 12-16,000 fox pa. Compare that to snares 100,000, gun 100,000, road accidents 60,000 and you will see that hunting had a very minimal effect on fox populations. Hunting was done for so called 'fun' - most definitely not as an effective pest control operation.

Ruddy bunny-hugging lefties.

  • Score: 0

8:02pm Sun 10 Feb 13 David Icke says…

The Wickham Man wrote…

David Icke wrote…

Whilst i do agree with alot of things Packam says, to be truthful, this isn't the first time he or any other naturist has said this kind of incident is a one off when it has happened. I can think of three in the past year due to, as has also been stated, food being a major issue. Culling is certainly not the answer though i think, maybe just humans being more aware and vigilant of their actions and surroundings. If the lady knew the door wasn't working properly for example, and some person wandered into her property with a child about, it could have been alot more dangerous?
If you are going to try and use someone else's name to get more kudos than you actually deserve the first thing you need to do is understand the difference between "naturist" and "naturalist", and perhaps to spell "Packham" correctly might suggest you can concentrate on something with accuracy. But as your name implies, you cannot grasp basic details correctly, and you have taken aim with a shotgun at both your own feet and pulled the trigger. Why should anyone listen to anything you say?

A thousand apologies for my two mistakes in my comment. I didn't realise it was significant enough for such a reply, but before you start prattling on about other people's typo's and paying attention to what you write, re-read your second comment and concentrate on how you come across first if you want people to seriously listen to anything you say. To save getting your fingers burnt and going up in flames remember what happened to the real 'Wicker man'.

  • Score: 0

8:02pm Sun 10 Feb 13 David Icke says…

The Wickham Man wrote…

David Icke wrote…

Whilst i do agree with alot of things Packam says, to be truthful, this isn't the first time he or any other naturist has said this kind of incident is a one off when it has happened. I can think of three in the past year due to, as has also been stated, food being a major issue. Culling is certainly not the answer though i think, maybe just humans being more aware and vigilant of their actions and surroundings. If the lady knew the door wasn't working properly for example, and some person wandered into her property with a child about, it could have been alot more dangerous?
If you are going to try and use someone else's name to get more kudos than you actually deserve the first thing you need to do is understand the difference between "naturist" and "naturalist", and perhaps to spell "Packham" correctly might suggest you can concentrate on something with accuracy. But as your name implies, you cannot grasp basic details correctly, and you have taken aim with a shotgun at both your own feet and pulled the trigger. Why should anyone listen to anything you say?

A thousand apologies for my two mistakes in my comment. I didn't realise it was significant enough for such a reply, but before you start prattling on about other people's typo's and paying attention to what you write, re-read your second comment and concentrate on how you come across first if you want people to seriously listen to anything you say. To save getting your fingers burnt and going up in flames remember what happened to the real 'Wicker man'.

  • Score: 0

8:17pm Sun 10 Feb 13 cantthinkofone says…

*yawn* Dull bout, but Wickham Man wins on correct use of apostrophes.

  • Score: 0

8:46pm Sun 10 Feb 13 David Icke says…

Oh dear you're all out tonight aren't you? Are we keeping you up? Maybe you should go to bed?

  • Score: 0

10:03pm Sun 10 Feb 13 MGRA says…

freefinker wrote…

MGRA wrote…

its not a "one-off" incident. Only a total idiot would think that. Wild foxes that are losing or territorially are NOTurban foxes... they are fish out of water and will become dangerous. This was an obvious consequence of the ban on fox hunting but due to life-spans of foxes the consequences are only maturing about now.....without fox hunting there is no economically neutral way of controlling foxes.... I am against blood sports but this is simply a consequence.
.. oh dear, see mine at 5:34pm above. The hunt used to kill 12-16,000 fox pa. Compare that to snares 100,000, gun 100,000, road accidents 60,000 and you will see that hunting had a very minimal effect on fox populations. Hunting was done for so called 'fun' - most definitely not as an effective pest control operation.

no sorry you are an idiot. hunting is not about total populatons, it was about how many settled per hectare..... yet another blair-spun moron hypnotised by statistics yet having absolutely no grasp on the real situation Hunting on a regular basis dispersed populations and since those populations were fairly close to sub-urban areas the link is clear. 95% of other fox clearing was done for animal husbandry reasons.... you really need to educate yourself before posting uneducated 2-d stats and then claiming you know what the hell you are talking about when you clearly do not.

  • Score: 0

6:44am Mon 11 Feb 13 10 Minute Man says…

Boris should disappear up his own foxhole. He's nothing but a rightwing thug masquerading as a lovable buffoon. Stirring up hatred against foxes to cheer up his hunting lobby friends - its truely pathetic.

  • Score: 0

9:12am Mon 11 Feb 13 Stupideditor says…

Take a look around us. As word of Mr Packham we are building on more and more countryside and can't even look after the our own towns and cities. It's no wonder we have animals such as foxes and vermin such as rats running around our streets and gardens, when you take a look at places such as wimpson lane carpark in Millbrook. Littered by chavs and lazy cretins that can't be bothered to take their rubbish home and put it in a bin. It's not rocket science. Our council is to blame by not strictly enforcing punishment for this type of littering .

  • Score: 0

9:16am Mon 11 Feb 13 freefinker says…

MGRA wrote…

freefinker wrote…

MGRA wrote…

its not a "one-off" incident. Only a total idiot would think that. Wild foxes that are losing or territorially are NOTurban foxes... they are fish out of water and will become dangerous. This was an obvious consequence of the ban on fox hunting but due to life-spans of foxes the consequences are only maturing about now.....without fox hunting there is no economically neutral way of controlling foxes.... I am against blood sports but this is simply a consequence.
.. oh dear, see mine at 5:34pm above. The hunt used to kill 12-16,000 fox pa. Compare that to snares 100,000, gun 100,000, road accidents 60,000 and you will see that hunting had a very minimal effect on fox populations. Hunting was done for so called 'fun' - most definitely not as an effective pest control operation.
no sorry you are an idiot. hunting is not about total populatons, it was about how many settled per hectare..... yet another blair-spun moron hypnotised by statistics yet having absolutely no grasp on the real situation Hunting on a regular basis dispersed populations and since those populations were fairly close to sub-urban areas the link is clear. 95% of other fox clearing was done for animal husbandry reasons.... you really need to educate yourself before posting uneducated 2-d stats and then claiming you know what the hell you are talking about when you clearly do not.

.. oh dear, doesn't like the facts so resorts to insults. Foxes are quite capable of dispersing without the help of hunting. Incidentally, hunting still goes on despite the change of law - and even when the intent is not to chase a fox it still often happens. Then we have WWII - five of six years of no hunting and no discernible increase in fox numbers.

  • Score: 0

11:22am Mon 11 Feb 13 kingnotail says…

Stupideditor wrote…

Take a look around us. As word of Mr Packham we are building on more and more countryside and can't even look after the our own towns and cities. It's no wonder we have animals such as foxes and vermin such as rats running around our streets and gardens, when you take a look at places such as wimpson lane carpark in Millbrook. Littered by chavs and lazy cretins that can't be bothered to take their rubbish home and put it in a bin. It's not rocket science. Our council is to blame by not strictly enforcing punishment for this type of littering .

Not to mention the innumerable scumbags in Southampton who think it's still ok to let their dogs sh1t anywhere and not pick it up after.

  • Score: 0

5:00pm Tue 12 Feb 13 cantthinkofone says…

Turns out that there was a fox culling attempt in London for 40 years that made no difference to the population whatsoever. Foxes would simply move in from the country to replace them.

  • Score: 0
Comments are closed on this article