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Thread: Foxes

  1. #1


    My neighbour has come to me and asked me if I can help him get rid of the foxes in his garden. He has lost all his chickens to them and his wife claims they are in the garden every night and she has seen six at one time ?
    The other night I had the trail cam out in my garden because my two borders have been going mad at night.
    I have images of eyes on the top of his hen house and I thought they where cats but on reflection could well be foxes. I have lent him my cam to see what comes into his garden.
    Question is what are the legalities of shooting foxes in his garden.
    I can shoot from his upstairs down into the garden and there are no houses behind his garden only playing fields which should be ok at night but can never be sure.
    I know whatever I do it is ok until it goes wrong then its my neck and FAC on the line .
    I wish he had never asked me and I have not said yes but that I would see what I could come up with.
    Maybe trapping would be the best way then dispatching in the trap with a moderated .22
    I would welcome any opinions or ideas


  2. #2
    Sounds like a tricky situation, I would go for a live trap and dispatch. It doesn't sound as though shooting is a very good option even if you manage to get a safe back stop all you need is a fox lover seeing you and causing grief.

    hope it works out. Tristram

  3. #3
    same as, live trap then dispatch on the quiet then you you dont get aww isnt it lovely sindrome crowd.atb.doug.

  4. #4
    Hi hogey,

    I know you are in a different part of the world but please be careful. I believe that you would need a condition on your FAC for the humane dispatch of either trapped, or caged foxes.

    I have pasted copy of the conditions on my ticket to show you what is required in Surrey.

    It shouldn’t be a problem as I think most Police forces recognise that they can be a problem to some and consequently have to be dealt with by the safest and most humane method available to us as individuals. As Tristram said though, you only need one person to make a complaint.

    Maybe you could also speak to your Firearms department and ask them to put the “Close range” condition on your .22LR

    Good luck and hope you get a result!

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Trapped Fox.jpg  

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by mickey308 View Post
    I believe that you would need a condition on your FAC for the humane dispatch of either trapped, or caged foxes.
    I'm not sure that's true: unless you don't have fox or AOLQ.

    Quote Originally Posted by mickey308 View Post
    Maybe you could also speak to your Firearms department and ask them to put the “Close range” condition on your .22LR
    Alternatively, ask for 'vermin and AOLQ' and have done with it!

    Failing than, a moderated .410 might be a good option.

  6. #6
    There was some discussion about the shooting of foxes in urban areas with subsonic ammunition in an ACPO paper recently if I remember rightly but not heard anything since, it's a good solution as I've used subsonic ammunition in my .308 for many years for foxes in sensitive areas moderated it's no louder than a rim fire but obviously far more effective but it realy depends on the location & circumstances but be careful as has already been said its your ticket on the line so I would try everything else first.

  7. #7
    Hi Guy’s,

    Just a little more to add here. Surrey for one, generally will not issue AOLQ on a rimfire and as a rule will not put Fox onto one either, especially a .22LR except in very specific circumstances and not the “norm”. Home Office Guidance 2013 supports this:

    13.25 Although not set out in legislation, common rifle cartridges considered suitable for the shooting of foxes range from .17 Remington, and .22 Hornet to .22 -250 and .220 Swift, though there is a wide range of suitable similar calibres commercially available.In windy areas, where heavier bullets aid accurate shooting, or if applicants wish to use one rifle for shooting both deer and foxes, they may choose a rifle in 6mm (.243/.244) or 6.5mm (.264) calibre.

    .22 Rimfires are generally considered as having insufficient muzzle energy to be used against foxes in most circumstances. However, these could be suitable for use at short range by experienced persons, and may be permitted in certain situations such as around farm buildings or paddocks. It is for the operator to ensure that the quarry species are shot at the appropriate range with the appropriate ammunition to achieve a humane kill. Combination shotgun/rifles should have the rifled barrel in a similar calibre. Expanding ammunition should be authorised for shooting foxes.

    Those involved in shooting foxes will normally be authorised to possess up to 250 rounds, but consideration should be given to each shooter’s individual circumstances, particularly where re-loaders are acquiring missiles. See also paragraph 13.9 on allowing the applicant flexibility to reasonably shoot other species on named land.

    13.26 It is desirable that new applicants should have some previous experience of the safe use of firearms before using such rifles. Experience is neither cartridge nor ammunition type exclusive. It may include the shooting of any quarry species. The aspect that police are looking to be satisfied about is the competency of the applicant to take a safe shot every time. The shooting of any quarry requires a safe backstop for the shot, and such experience is transferable between quarry species.

    As for dispatching either trapped or caged Fox (Two completely different things) you have to use the methods available to you. Some clients do not want the animal dispatched on their property for reasons of a personal nature and others do not want you to be seen entering their property with a firearm cased and wrapped up in a roll of carpet or whatever in order to try and disguise it.

    Again my advice would be speak to your FEO they will have a policy on this and will advise you on the way forward. As I said before this sort of issue is becoming more and more prevalent especially in urban areas.

    But however, there is nothing to stop you using either a live catcher or wire and taking the animal away to be humanely dispatched? this is where a wire is easier and much less visible but, as with every method they are not perfect and all have potential problems. Releasing a ticked off cat from a wire in the cold and wet can be.......kind of, eventful.
    We can all here give some sort of advice good, bad or indifferent but it’s your ticket.

    Best regards,

  8. #8
    As I understand it:-

    If you have an "Open Certificate" and permission from the home owner to remove foxes in writing, then you can use a .22 rimfire and night vision/lamp and shoot them in the garden.

    I would advise the local Force of what you are doing, What date and time you propose to carry out the shooting, you dont need them to look at the land because the "Open Ticket" places the onus on you to be sensible and you probably wont have an "Open Ticket" unless the licensing Force trust you in the first place.

    Working with the Police is a lot better than wasting their resources and everyone's time.

    This has been confirmed to me by BASC and also my FEO

    P.S. The usual condition on your certificate for shooting vermin would obviously apply.

  9. #9
    This subject was discussed at the ACPO FELWG meeting of the 13th March 2013.

    Here is the extract from the minutes..............

    8.1 Jim Jones referred to a query he had received from an experienced shooter asking if he
    can cull foxes in a highly residential volutile part of the force. This was raised at the
    Practioners meeting who will assemble guidance for people who are going to undertake
    this activity and publish it. The shooter hasn’t been asked by a public body to undertake
    this cull but by an invidual. The message needs to go out to operational police officers
    that this is legal.

    8.2 CC Marsh confirmed that if someone is legally going to undertake this activity they need
    to notify local police.

    8.3 A general discussion ensued and it was agreed that rather than publish information
    nationally, Jim Jones will work on local advice and consult/guide private individuals as
    and when they make an approach, what it is they need to do on an individual basis.

  10. #10
    Number of things here
    1) legal definition of fox and vermin. Not clear
    2) prosecution of anyone for shooting fox with a .22lr has NEVER been tested
    3) I personally do not like trapping and close quarters dispatch is not always as easy or discreet as it sounds
    4) belt and braces approach would be a free variation to add fox to your .22, get your facts straight and justify your request. I have fox on EVERYTHING on my FAC as a matter of course. That did not mean I did not shoot foxes with rimfires before that, just that I started doing it in VERY public areas and did not want to be a legal test case!!

    IMO a baited area and use of night vision or red light (I use a bicycle rear LED light to flood the bait area) to dispatch foxes from a position of height with a soft lawn backstop is foolproof and tried and tested

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