P rinciples of W ildlife Deterrence:

Most people are quite tolerant of the urban wildlife which shares our environment, but some wild animals and birds can occasionally be a real nuisance - capable of causing unsightly or expensive damage to gardens, bowling greens, sports fields, golf courses, etc.

As an example, foxes, badgers, squirrels and moles can cause damage to lawns, greens and fields; fox cubs can uproot or crush plants, dig holes in flower borders and defecate on lawns, patios and garden furniture; squirrels can damage plants, dig up bulbs, raid bird tables and, if they gain access to lofts, strip electrical insulation; pigeons and other birds can create mess and damage buildings; and rodents can cause damage and foul foodstuffs.

Concern for wildlife protection has led to more and more people seeking humane ways of dealing with any nuisance caused by wild animals and birds.   Combining knowledge of the animal's biology and ecology with carefully targeted deterrents and repellant devices usually puts an end to the particular nuisance without harming the culprit.

The old methods employed by many pest control operators in the past, i.e. trapping, poisoning, shooting etc., have been shown to be ineffective, expensive and dangerous as well as inhumane.  Modern legislation outlaws many previously used methods for dealing with wild animals and birds.  Such legislation can be a legal minefield for any layperson.

Some pest controllers charge huge fees to cage-trap nuisance foxes which are then either shot or dumped miles away. A fox dumped in a strange territory will find itself in competition for food with resident foxes. This causes significant stress and leads to an increase in the numbers of reported cases of mange as well as in the number of road casualties. Thus the removal of a fox from its home range and dumping it elsewhere (known as ‘hard-release) is almost certainly an offence of cruelty under the Abandonment of Animals Act 1960 and is condemned by the government's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Reputable wildlife rescue groups do relocate foxes occasionally, but use a system known as ‘soft release' whereby volunteers protect and feed the relocated fox until it has time to settle into its new environment.

In any event, the removal of a fox from its territory merely creates a vacancy for another fox to move into - often within days - and is therefore pointless. Humane deterrence techniques allow the nuisance animals to remain in their territory, but ‘educates' them to either change the behaviour that is causing a problem, or to avoid the location or property where they are causing a nuisance. This is a service for people suffering genuine wildlife nuisance, helping to resolve or at least mitigate such problems safely, legally and at reasonable cost without harming the wild animals or birds concerned.

For the cost of the call-out service see Current Charges.

Information about Foxes
Information about Rodents
Information about Squirrels
Information about Rabbits
Information about Birds

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