Trevor’s Week - April 18, 2012 - Poisoning foxes a short-term solution

Poisoning foxes causes great distress
Poisoning foxes causes great distress
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WRAS has joined forces with four other animal welfare groups to put up a total of £2,700 for a reward for evidence leading to the conviction of a person illegally poisoning animals under the Animal Welfare Act in the Seaford area.

The reward comes with growing concerns after a lady visited the Wynnes Hardware store in Seaford asking to buy rat poison to kill foxes.

The Fox Project based in Pembury have put up £1,000, WRAS have put up £500, International Animal Rescue based in Uckfield £500, Jessie’s Trust based in Alfriston £500 and Seaford Dog Rescue £200 – making a total of a £2,700 reward.

We are already working with Sussex Police and leads are being taken seriously and followed up due to the seriousness of the report.

WRAS has received information about a person possibly in the central Seaford area who hates foxes and who may be poisoning them.

The person lives near the Salts recreation ground. Pet owners should be wary and seek urgent veterinary assistance if they suspect poisoning.

WRAS has praised staff at the store for refusing to sell the rat poison to the lady who attempted to buy rat poison to mix with dog food to kill foxes.

The lady also told staff she had been using mice poison but this had not worked. This is more worrying because of the fox poisoning case in Eastbourne a few weeks ago, as that was thought to be a case of secondary poisoning where a fox had picked up a poisoned rat or mouse.

This lady is using poison in dog food and clearly placing it in a location where pets could come into contact and potentially eat it. As a result we have made the two local veterinary practices in Seaford aware of the situation.

This is not a condition which can be ignored and pet owners should not wait until morning. Contact the vet as a matter of urgency if you suspect poisoning.

Acts such as this are sick and cruel. Poisoning any animal is a horrible death, and it does make me question whether it is too easy for people to get hold of such poison and use it in an irresponsible manner.

I thought this country was supposed to be full of animal lovers. As a general rule I find people in Seaford are very animal and wildlife friendly, but clearly this particular lady isn’t.

Having seen first-hand the suffering and pain poisoned animals go through I don’t know how anyone can use it. I’ve hardened up to most incidents we deal with but poisoning cases still upset me. In this modern age of technology you would have thought we could have come with an alternative.

Poisoning foxes, like shooting them, is a waste of time and money. It is only a very short-term solution to a minor problem.

Foxes are very beneficial in residential areas as they are nature’s dustbin men, and will clear up dead animals and birds, eat dumped food as well as eating and helping control the rat and mice population.

There are several humane fox deterrents specialists who are recommended by the Fox Project, who can be contacted and used to help prevent foxes from visiting sensitive areas or help to deter where residents have fears or concerns about them. These companies are: John Bryant, Humane Urban Wildlife Deterrence, Tonbridge, Phone 01732 357355 or 07770 788566. Website and email Fox-a-gon, London, 0208 925 9639, website and email Foxolutions, Beckenham, 0844 804 0630, Website

Rat poison symptoms include the following, but you don’t always get all of these symptoms and you see different symptoms at different stages: dull, reject food, saliva is mixed with blood, internal bleeding from gums/lungs, external bleeding from nose (epistaxis), rectum (hematochezia), bright green stool which is caused by eating rat bait pellets(not all green stools are caused by poisoning), bloody urine (hematuria) or stool (melena), blood coagulation, fatigue, excitation, drooling, slobbering, uncoordinated gait, muscle tremors, weakness, cold, inability to stand, mild cough, lung problems, breathing difficulty, mental depression, vomiting, diarrhoea, coma, extensive bruising, hair loss.


East Sussex WRAS is a voluntary organisation which relies on donations, receiving no funding from government or the RSPCA. Anyone wishing to make a donation should contact the treasurer at PO Box 2148, Seaford, BN25 9DE.

• 24-hour rescue line 07815 078234