Resident calls on Bristol City Council to round up foxes after attack on baby
A BRISTOL man is calling on the council to control the city's "dangerous" fox population.
Following news that a baby boy was dragged from his cot and injured by a fox in Bromley, south east London, public relations manager Tim Stanley urged the council to control the "pests".
Cabinet member Gus Hoyt dismissed the idea of a cull and called for a "considered and balanced approach". He pointed to a council leaflet which advises people how to "live with urban foxes".
Mr Stanley told The Post: "This week's news has revived the debate about culling urban foxes and the time has come for the council to think again.
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"Some of the foxes in Henleaze are tagged so, if their movements are being monitored, it should not be too difficult to round them up and remove them.
"If Henleaze was plagued with rats I am sure the council would act to eradicate them; why not with foxes? Dogs are no longer allowed to roam the streets unless they are on a leash, so why should large dog foxes be permitted do so?"
He later added: "It's clear that foxes are pests. If we have an infestation of rats, which we do at the moment at the fruit market, the council would be doing something about it.
"Seeing as foxes are a danger to young children and babies, the council should be doing the same."
Councillor Gus Hoyt, cabinet member for the environment, communities and equalities, said: "While foxes have hit the headlines recently ... the hazards that they pose to people in general are very small indeed."
He said the council treated foxes as "part of the city's ecology".
He dismissed any means of controlling numbers as expensive and ineffective.
"We need to take a considered, balanced approach to these issues and listen to the advice of the scientific community," he added.
Professor Steve Harris, of the University of Bristol School of Biological Sciences, said fox numbers had been recovering since an outbreak of mange in the mid-1990s. He said the population was now stagnating.
Bristol City Council estimates there are 600 pairs of foxes in Bristol.