FUW pressing Forestry Commission to step up fox control

THE FARMERS Union of Wales is pressing the Forestry Commission to explain how it will control fox numbers in its plantations after the passing of the Hunting Act 2004.

The union fears that the restriction on the number of dogs that can be used to flush foxes for shooting will cut the number killed in forested areas.

“Given the number and size of the forests in Wales, the two dog exemption for flushing foxes is unlikely to be effective,” said Rhian Nowell-Phillips, the FUW’s senior policy officer.

Even Carwyn Jones, the Welsh assembly’s rural affairs minister, had admitted that using two dogs would be totally inappropriate and ineffective for fox control in large areas of Wales.

The FUW was backing the all-party Parliamentary Middle Way Group’s attempts to persuade the assembly to have the hunting issue devolved.

This would allow effective control measures to protect Welsh sheep flocks.

Ms Nowell-Phillips added that in the meantime the union had written to the Forestry Commission to request details of its future fox control strategy.

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