Poor fox control causes carnage
In the foot-and-mouth outbreak, when fox control ceased, there was carnage in the countryside.
Some upland shepherds who had sheep grazing areas surrounded by large tracks of forestry experienced three-figure losses of lambs due to foxes, and these were known losses.
We heard of one small flock with ewe numbers in the teens which had not been long established. Despite a good lamb crop, over a six-week period every lamb was taken. Foxes can take lambs up to five weeks of age; often it is a long and agonising death for the lamb. The RSPCA quotes a figure of 4% losses.
DEFRA”s predecessor, MAFF, said the fox is a big killer of lamb, poultry, piglets and ground birds. It is not uncommon for foxes to hunt in groups and pull down and kill adult sheep. Even a calf was once mentioned. In Wales, we have the densest population of sheep in Europe.
Gareth Jones Penlan Farm, Old Radnor, Powys