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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

A Letter from Mr Fox

Dear Hunters and Supporters thereof,

It appears that a recent government ban to stop hunting me, has caused quite the commotion in the press and with both pro-hunting and anti- hunting groups alike.

I have watched the arguments  play out from a far, but, as I now understand a Petition has been launched against the governmental hunting ban , I feel it is an opportune moment to formalise my own view point.

As The Secretary of State for Sustainability Ministry, Camille Gira, pointed out, there has been a 57% decline in Luxembourg's' fox population over the last 15 years. To be precise, our numbers have decreased from 5,802  to 2,504. 

As Hunters, you have stated that fox populations will increase exponentially when the ban is imposed. I therefore wanted to bring to your attention the findings of the Independent Mammal Society in the U.K from 2001- 2002. As you may recall, during this period there was a Foot and Mouth outbreak in the U.K and fox hunting was banned. The Mammal Society ( an Independent Scientific Society with no corporate policy on hunting) concluded that the fox population decreased during this period despite the hunting ban.

At the time, Stephen Harris - Mammal Society Chairman was quoted to say, " (This) is the first scientific study on the impact of hunting on fox numbers, and it shows clearly that hunting plays no role in regulating fox numbers."

Indeed, as us Foxes are territorial creatures, hunting us is often counterproductive and pointless. If a fellow fox is killed, another fox  will occupy the vacant territory within 3-4 days.
This brings me, quite conveniently, to another 'concern' hunters have mentioned, the potential spread of disease when the ban is introduced. Once again, to quote Minister Gira, "Rabies was eradicated from the Grand Duchy more  than 10 years ago." 

Echinococcus Multilocularis  or Fox Tapeworm, as it is more commonly referred to, is also extremely rare. According to; "Scarcely 10 new cases are recorded in Europe each year per million persons." Another study conducted by Professor Dr Peter Kern of Ulm University Hospital stated that between 2001 - 2005 between 6-17 people were reported with Fox Tapeworm in Germany.  Culling is a very ineffective and counterproductive way of managing this disease. As mentioned previously, foxes are territorial and  groups will move when an area  is hunted,  facilitating the spread of any disease.

The last group who need to hunt me and my kinfolk are Farmers with livestock concerns. I cannot dispute that we foxes do take lambs. However estimates of annual lamb loss in the United Kingdom due to predators are around 5% per annum. Whilst 95% of lamb losses are due to farm husbandry practises.

Indeed establishing whether a fox was responsible for killing a lamb is extremely difficult as foxes are often blamed for killing a lamb when we have merely found  it dead or dying already.

Foxes belong to the dog family (canidae) and like dogs we use similar facial expressions and body postures. We are not vermin or 'Killers', we are gentile creatures who help control rabbit and rat populations. On average we save British crop farmers £7 Million per year.

So, before you sign the petition to 'Stop' the Fox Hunting ban, please consider  these points and spare some empathy for our species. We are all sentient beings who want to be happy. Foxes are not a commodity used for Meat or Fur, killing us is merely conducted in the name of  ,so called, 'sport.'

Please keep the ban and support Foxes in Luxembourg!

Yours sincerely,

Fantastic Mr Fox

N.B - I appreciate that many of these Statistics come from the United Kingdom. However they have statistics available due to the current fox hunting ban.

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