I read recently, on a new forum dedicated to foxing, that the preferred/recommended method of clearing a vixen, and cubs, is to shoot the vixen first, followed by the cubs. When I questioned this, the reason given, was that if one or more cubs are killed, the vixen will move them to another den. The shooter said that once the vixen is killed, he would return either the next day, or in the next couple of days, to kill the cubs.
Okay, so I understand that killing the vixen first, and then the cubs, is tactically(?) the best way to do it, but - legally, surely the cubs should be killed first, regardless of the possibility of the vixen moving, or, the den should be dug up, and the cubs destroyed immediately (especially if you are going to talk about it online)?
Okay, so I admit, that, up until a few weeks ago, I wouldn't have known, or, even been bothered, but I have recently had reason to make a detailed study of Best Practice Guides AND the 2006 Animal Welfare Act, for a personal project that the local Police Wildlife crimes officer has shown an interest in.
The fact that foxes are pests or vermin, does not detract from the fact that they (in common with all other animals) enjoy a certain level of protection under the aforementioned act, OR, to put it another way, that shooters can be prosecuted for contravening the act.
Am I being pedantic? Unrealistic? Do I read too much?