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Wicklow National Park removes "vermin" claim
09 January 2013

ICABS has thanked Wicklow Mountains National Park for removing a claim on its website that "many people regard foxes as vermin". In response to an appeal, a spokesperson thanked us for bringing the inaccuracy to its attention and emphasised that the park does not regard foxes as vermin.

In an email to the park, ICABS pointed out that most people regard foxes, not as vermin, but as a valuable part of Ireland's wildlife heritage.

The park also replaced a claim that foxes "have a bad name with farmers because they will kill poultry and very young lambs" with "many farmers believe that foxes will kill young lambs, but studies have not yet proven whether this is so, or whether they only take already dead or dying lambs. They will also scavenge the carcasses of dead deer and sheep."

ICABS referred to a National Parks and Wildlife Service educational leaflet ("Heritage Highlights") which makes it clear that "no matter what people think, foxes seldom kill and eat young lambs."

Statistics show that the main causes of mortality are abortion & still-birth, infectious disease, exposure and starvation.

Not vermin: A photo of a fox on the Wicklow Mountains National Park website

The facts about sheep mortality on Irish farms

Find out more about Factors in Sheep and Lamb Mortality

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