Monday, 11 February 2013

Opinion: No Time to Pat Mr. Fox on the Head


I believe
I do believe that animals need to be cared for and treated humanely; they have a place in this world as much as any of us who live on earth. We must however distinguish between pets, domesticated animals, exotic animals and wild animals, properly categorising them and handling them in their appropriate habitats.
However, I also do believe that man by reason of providence immemorial is at the top of the hierarchy of the animal kingdom and for that we have a responsibility of husbandry of the earth, the inhabitants and its resources.
Sensible usage
More pertinently, we have come to the understanding that there must be judicious and fair use along with conservation to ensure that we enjoy the fruits of the earth but not exhaust them that those who come after us end up living in a barren world.
We can use but we must be careful not to abuse, we can manage but resist the licence to plunder; there should be a balance in the way we work the system for the benefit of all.
The fox has moved
Now, I was not one in favour of the ban on fox hunting, my opinion was it had been an age-old tradition though at the same time a celebration of the class system which is patently British and it is something we cannot divorce ourselves from for the sake of modernity.
There might neither be consequence or causality but the news that a four-week-old baby boy was attacked in his cot by an urban fox was as terrifying as it is troublesome that it needs to be addressed before a more unspeakable event becomes the news.
The fox has somewhat moved from the counties and the shires into the home, our homes and that is just so not right.
Fox on the throne
What is quite bothersome is the fact that the fox did not scare easily when the mother of the child approached it; she literally had to fight off the fox that had the literally bitten off the finger of the child as if it felt it was being denied its well-earned meal.
The fox had gone on the hunt, albeit in an urban area, gained access to a building, found a baby and sunk its feral rabid teeth into the child without any consideration – as if foxes have the powers of consideration that human-being have.
This is just an unacceptable development, a rise of urban fox numbers helped by the way we discard our rubbish and the lack of a natural predator to keep the numbers down.
What to do
In the longer term, we do need decide how we secure our homes, to manage better how we dispose of our food waste that foxes do not see our urban areas as easy places to feed and be fattened, our encroachment into the usual habitats on the outskirts of town needs to be curtailed but as a matter of urgency, this issue is one of vermin, a pest and the need for a controlled process of extermination to rid our cities of thousands of foxes.
It is impractical to have them relocated and they are not necessarily exotic enough first for domestication or for mass deployment into zoos, the hard truth is they need to be culled, we should make no bones about that.
Before some animal rights advocates rise up in arms about the need to pat the fox on the head as it makes chicken drumsticks and chicken wings of the thighs and arms of our vulnerable babies that we have simply left to sleep peacefully in their cots, there is no reason for foxes and us to live in the cities, they belong in the bush, in holes that they by nature used to dig to live in and must either by management or otherwise be sent back to the bush where they belong.
My simple view is this – this is no time to pat the fox on the head.

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