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Fox should be seen as our ally, not our enemy

THE old saying that "my enemy's enemy is my friend" should be applied to one of the most maligned creatures of the countryside: the fox.

At this time of year, foxes are under relentless attack.

The fox's role as a predator on sheep and poultry is exaggerated by hunters. Foxes mostly take lambs that have died from hypothermia, or eat discarded afterbirth tissue.

And the stories of the fox in the henhouse date from an age when poultry was not as well-protected as it is today.

Not only is the fox not our enemy, he is, in fact, our great benefactor. Foxes kill vast numbers of rats, in addition to keeping mice, slugs, beetles and grubs at bay.

They also serve as nature's binmen, removing dead animals from country lanes and forest clearings.

So I say we should stop demonising the fox and recognise this wonderful creature for the great ally he is.

JOHN FITZGERALD

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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