Fun Fox Facts!

Foxes are amazing animals – here’s a few reasons why!

  • Foxes are small-to-medium-sized, omnivorous mammals belonging to several genera of the family Canidae. By far the most common and widespread species of fox is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) with about 47 recognized subspecies.  The one in the UK is the European fox (V. v. crucigera).
  • Foxes often form a pair that lasts for life
  • Red foxes use 28 different vocal calls to communicate
  • Foxes don't waste food, or 'kill for fun'. If they find or kill more than they can eat, they will attempt to take it away and store it. This is similar behaviour to other carnivores
  • Foxes belong to the dog family and use similar facial expressions and body postures to pet dogs, such as wagging their tails when greeting family members
  • On average, foxes are only a little larger than pet cats
  • Foxes have strong family ties. Young foxes often stay with their parents for a few years and help raise future cubs
  • Famous cartoon foxes include Nick Wilde in Zootopia, Fantastic Mr Fox, Robin Hood and Maid Marion in Disney’s Robin Hood, and Tod in the Fox and the Hound

3 Fox Cubs


Why we need to protect foxes


Fox hunting

Foxes are hunted by packs of fox hounds and people mounted on horses or on foot. This is mostly illegal under the Hunting Act 2004 but unfortunately still continues. Foxes are also killed as cubs as part of ‘cub hunting’, also known as ‘Autumn hunting’ which takes place before the main fox hunting season begins in November.

Foxes are also captured by hunts and kept in ‘artificial earths’ or disused buildings, so they can then be released in front of the hounds during the hunt. This proves that fox hunting is nothing to do with ‘fox control’ or ‘wildlife management’, as the hunts claim, and is purely about providing sport for the hunters.


Snares

Foxes are also caught in snares, which are wire nooses laid in the countryside, often around shooting estates. The aim is to catch foxes so that they don’t kill the grouse, pheasants or partridges on the estates – which will then be killed for sport


What the League is doing to Protect Foxes

  • We investigate reports of illegal hunting, many of which come through our Animal Crimewatch service
  • We film what we believe is illegal hunting and submit evidence to the police
  • We have directly prosecuted fox hunts for illegal hunting, when we believed the authorities would not have done so
  • A League film of Scottish hunts allegedly flushing foxes out of woods ‘to guns’ (which is allowed under the law) – but without a single gun in sight, has led to a review of hunting legislation in Scotland. This in turn played a major role in stopping an attempted repeal of the Hunting Act in England in 2015
  • We have many acres of land which we run as sanctuaries, where we own the ‘sporting rights’ meaning no-one can hunt or shoot on the land. We have many foxes resident in these safe areas
  • We continue to educate the public, farmers and the government about foxes, as these animals are often misunderstood. Some key facts we want people to know are:
    • Rural fox numbers have not increased since the Hunting Ban was introduced
    • By feeding on rabbits, it has been estimated that rural foxes save British crop farmers around £7m per year
    • Research in Scotland has shown that less than 2% of annual lamb losses can be directly attributed to foxes
    • When a fox dies or is killed, another fox will take over its territory, sometimes as soon as within three to four days, meaning that lethal control of foxes is pointless. Non-lethal control methods are more humane, and often more effective

Fox laying on the grass


Humane ways to keep foxes away

Lots of tips from The Fox Project

Fox-a-Gon: In addition to household garden work, Fox-a-Gon are specialists in fox proofing large areas such as schools. 0208 925 9639

Humane Urban Wildlife Deterrence: Small garden service call-outs and offer limited verbal advice. 01732 357355

Foxolutions stock and provide effective deterrents For those who prefer a DIY option. 0844 804 0630

In Scotland, you can contact Humane Wildlife Solutions 07771 361226


How can I help foxes?

  • Contact your MP and ask them to urge their party to keep and strengthen the fox hunting ban
  • Sign our petition to ban snares
  • Join one of our supporter groups to help us raise awareness about fox hunting
  • Download and share our amazing Foxycology infographic packed with fox facts
  • Share this page on your social media


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