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Public Statement

Public Statement on the Culling of Foxes at The Littlehampton Academy

There have been some concerns raised about a recent decision taken by the academy to have four foxes destroyed.  The situation is that we have been experiencing an increasing amount of damage caused by foxes on the site, including the undermining of paved areas and damage to cabling.  Additionally, there has been a large and regular amount of fouling on both the playing field and the playground areas of the academy.

The number of foxes at the site has been increasing.  Further investigation revealed that a group of adult foxes had established an earth on the grounds of the academy, in relatively close proximity to the school buildings and in an area intended to be used for education.

We recognise that, as one of a reducing number of green areas in the locality, our site is going to attract wildlife and we welcome this.  However, our space is intended for the education of the town’s children.  Our priorities must always be the delivery of a high quality education combined with upholding the highest standards of health and safety; these were being compromised by both the damage and the fouling of the site.

We consulted with a pest control company and after discussions we took the difficult decision that the most effective and humane solution to the issue was to have the animals destroyed. We arranged for the company to attend the site after the school year had completed and a number of adult foxes were culled over the course of one evening.

In the past we have attempted to use traps but these have been interfered with by persons unknown meaning that they were not effective.  We also followed official government advice that states: “You shouldn’t relocate or release captured foxes. This will cause foxes stress by transporting and relocating them to an unfamiliar environment.”

This was not a decision taken lightly, but after seeking guidance and in the best interests of the children at the academy.  We will now be working with other local agencies, in particular the pest control contractors for Arun District Council, to ensure that our site remains safe for the children attending, while avoiding the necessity for this type of action again.  Naturally, we would prefer to use non-lethal methods in the future.  

The Littlehampton Academy

27 August 2021

 
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