A North London primary school has become embroiled in an animal rights row after hiring a professional to trap and kill foxes on school grounds.
Latymer All Saints Primary School in Edmonton claims the foxes on its grounds could potentially pose a health risk to the children.
However, a number of members of the local community have expressed outrage and say there are plenty of other ways to deal with the issue without killing the creatures – which the school has said it will take into account, after revealing that all traps had been removed.
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Outraged animal lovers and parents at the school have been vocal on social media about their opposition to the culling of foxes.
Fox Guardians, who describe themselves as “a charitable organisation that promotes respect and compassion for foxes,” has been particularly upset about the school’s behaviour.
In a post on Facebook, founder Dora Nightingale urged the public to contact Latymer All Saints Primary and demand they take the traps down and “call off the cull.”
In an email addressed to the primary school’s headteacher, Dora wrote: “Apparently you already culled the cubs’ parents and now are paying someone to shoot the four cubs.
“This is a shocking and senseless act of violence that will NOT solve your ‘problem’ of fox faeces but only make it worse.
“Your motto is ‘Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ’ yet you are paying to have innocent wild animals to be murdered just for doing what comes natural to them.”
In the email, Dora also included some crucial facts from leading fox expert Professor Dawn Scott from Keele University.
“Shooting foxes is not the solution,” the email continued, “This is only a short-term ‘fix’ and other foxes will move in,” the professor explained.
“I would recommend to use humane deterrents on areas they don’t want foxes to defecate in to try to persuade them away.
“Killing them won’t solve the problem, it will only cause more problems.”
Members of the local community were quick to express their outrage in the Facebook comments, describing the killing of the foxes as “murder” and stating that the school’s behaviour has been “barbaric.”
A spokesperson from Enfield Council said there have been significant problems on the school site involving excrement and incidents of foxes approaching children.
(Image: The Fox Project)
“This is neither safe, sanitary nor pleasant for our children or staff. The school has a significant number of children with special needs as well as very young nursery children who are at potential risk,” the Council added.
“Many schools around London and across the borough with playing fields have to address this issue – it is not an unusual problem for schools to face and it is usually addressed without any publicity at all.”
Katy Brennan, headteacher of Latymer All Saints Primary, wished to add that the staff in the school have been subject to a “very aggressive, ill informed and dishonest” social media campaign.
“Staff have also been subjected to threatening and rude phone calls and a campaigner came to the school gates and shouted personal insults at staff,” she shared.
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“No member of the school community has expressed any concern over this matter to any member of staff.”
The school also wished to stress that although foxes were indeed caught and killed by a licensed professional during the summer, the school has not shot any foxes.
The school also said there are no longer any traps on the school site and that they will take into account all options for dealing with the foxes that remain on the grounds.
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