Urban Foxes, Feed Them or Drive Them AwayKeith
In recent years foxes have made several attacks on babies in homes.
Actress Joanna Lumley, said she likes to feed the animals.
She said her husband, composer Stephen Barlow, had seen foxes wander into his music room and sit on the sofa to listen to him practice.
Miss Lumley said: ‘As I love animals, and I’m a vegetarian, and I don’t like things being killed, I like to feed the foxes. Foxes live in London, they’re not going to eat sheep here, they’re not going to eat chickens here because there aren’t any.
‘They lived here before london existed and they are feral creatures. If we don’t feed them they get mange and die and that’s not fair.
‘We have a few that come around. I try not to name them but they live under the shed at the back of the garden. They walk on the walls and are completely charming.
‘When my husband leaves the music room door open they come in and sit on the sofa. One came in while he was practising. Like a little dog, she just sat there and listened to his music.’
But pest controller Tom Keightley, of The Pest Company, said last night: ‘If you invite a predator to the food table, at some point you are going to get bitten.
‘People get hacked off when their bins are raided but there’s also a lot of concern about disease because foxes poo everywhere and that can pose a danger to children.
‘We don’t let dogs do their business in parks, but people seem to allow foxes to do it in their own back yards. Why?
‘Some of the foxes are quite large and more than capable of inflicting injury on a child. There are also attacks on pets. I had a lady last week whose Maltese terrier was chased by a large fox that wanted to kill it.
‘When there are cubs about foxes can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage to gardens.
‘When people feed them, the foxes have all the food they need so feel secure and shelter in the gardens where they can breed. If there are five cubs this year sheltering under a shed, there could be as many as a dozen before too long.’
In 2013 four-week-old Denny Dolan had his finger nearly severed by a fox which dragged him from the sofa in his home in Downham, south-east London.
In 2010 twins Isabella and Lola Koupparis were left with injuries to their arms and faces after they were attacked by a fox in their cots at their home in Hackney, east London. The animal had entered through patio doors. After both incidents, animal charities said attacks on humans by foxes are ‘very rare’.