The bodies of two foxes have been found on display near Epsom town centre, sparking fears that someone has started culling them.
The carcasses were discovered lying side by side behind a pay machine at a car park on West Hill on Sunday, December 18.
Liam Farrell, from Epsom, who was horrified to see them them there that evening said: “. Someone has murdered two foxes and left them for everyone to see. Looks like they have been shot in the head both of them. They had been laid out directly behind the machine. They appeared to be two very healthy foxes so I can only assume they had been poisoned or shot somehow.”
Epsom and Ewell Council confirmed that its street cleansing team removed the dead foxes the following day but thought the foxes were ‘more likely’ to have been run over.
The incident comes just in the wake of a passionate debate on whether foxes should be culled following the death of a kitten in Ewell Court in a suspected fox attack.
A third of those who have taken part in a poll on epsomguardian.co.uk said they were in favour of culling foxes. It is illegal to poison a fox as no chemical is currently approved by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and to shoot a fox with an air rifle or a BB gun is also illegal under animal cruelty laws.
However it is legal to shoot a fox with a rifle, provided you have a firearms licence and permission from the land owner, but in built-up areas strict restrictions apply subject to the local authority and police. A spokesperson for The British Association for Shooting and Conservation said: “It would be pretty obvious if they had been shot.
“If it’s an urban setting then it’s most likely that someone has trapped these foxes, killed them and deliberately placed them there.
“That’s something we would condemn as not being best practice at all.
“Every fox that is killed should be disposed of humanely and properly and there are various laws concerning the disposal of carcasses.”