‘Common sense’ needed after lambs killed by foxes

By Alex Jones in Farming

AN EXASPERATED farmer has called for “a common sense approach” after losing 25 lambs to foxes in only a matter of weeks.

Meirion Jones, 67, was born and raised on Cwm Mynach Isa farm, Bontddu, and believes this year is “one of the worst ever” for losing his livestock to countryside predators.

Over the years, Meirion has been able to use his foxhounds and shotgun to contain the problem, but is having difficulty this year as he is not allowed on the neighbouring land, owned by the Woodland Trust, with firearms.

“It’s awful, every night in our bedroom we can hear the ewes screaming and running down the field, we’re just helpless to stop it,” said Meirion.

“We know the foxes are attacking the newborns – we lost one Tuesday morning – but we can’t stop them.

“This is my livelihood. I may lose as many as 50 or 60 lambs at this rate, that’s a big percentage of my stock. It makes you wonder whether it’s worth going to the trouble any more.”

A spokesperson for the Woodland Trust said in response: “We hugely value the co-operation of Mr Jones in looking after Cwm Mynach.

“Therefore, as a responsible land owner, we are now arranging for our own stalker to control fox numbers in Cwm Mynach. This is expected to take place almost immediately."

Read the full story in today’s Meirionnydd edition of the Cambrian News

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Claire · 110 days ago · Report

I have chickens etc if i left my birds out at night they would be killed so they are fenced properly an put away so our resident fox cant eat them, so why doesn't he do proper fencing or get an alpca, doesn't seem legit a fox killing lambs an shame on the woodlen trust leave the foxes alone an get the farmer to protect the lambs better set up a camera for proof???

Ian S · 110 days ago · Report

Not much room for sitting on the fence here. On one hand (looking at it from the traditional angle) the foxes are a pest. Innocent lambs are dying. The way I see it is the farmer is to blame for breeding these animals and having such a unnaturally large number of them for the foxes to eat. More food = more foxes. So the solution really is to stop farming animals. Any decision made will inevitably take the financial interests of the farmer into account. Unfortunately.

Simon Bartle · 110 days ago · Report

If he wants to breed lambs for slaughter to line his pockets on land where foxes live, then he should provide his live stock with proper protection. Its not bloody rocket science now is it? Bloody idiot.

Pippi · 111 days ago · Report

'We're helpless to stop it...." What utter nonsense! Lazy farmer not prepared to adapt his farming methods to protect his Lambs. Despite his livlihood being on the line. Take away the food source, or put in better protection; the foxes will soon seek food elsewhere. I'm appalled by the response from the Woodland Trust.

Andrea · 111 days ago · Report

Blame foxes: this year blame dogs the other year...get off your useless ass and look after your own lambs... Poor excuse....blame everything other than you inability to look after your own flock... If the woodland trust kills one animal I will never ever support them again

Lauren · 111 days ago · Report

This is disgusting. I will be cancelling my standing order to the woodland trust. I will not have my money spent on fox hunting.

LB · 111 days ago · Report

How about this farmer protects his liverstock better instead of waging war on wildlife that are under the threat of human activity and interference all the time. The Trust cannot listen a few farmers instead of the majority of the public in the UK who want ban of hunting and ban on culling of wildlife. The UK seroseriouslyusly needs to look at ways to better protect wildlife from these farmers.

Joan Gillingham · 111 days ago · Report

Mr Jones ..... ever thought of getting off your backside and actually doing your job? 650 upland ewes - never lost a lamb to foxes ...... or corvids. Worst case of sheep killing (not mine) on neighbouring farm, was by owners' own dogs ...... Ask around ..... hunting isn't the answer .......

Dick Jones · 115 days ago · Report

The tightwad should smell the coffee, and pay for men to look after his flock. Simples.

Dick Jones · 115 days ago · Report

Mr. Jones should pay for a few honest people to look after his ewes at night, and scare the foxes away.

Rav Jordison · 126 days ago · Report

Maybe get out of your bed and go and protect them. Or get trade your fox hounds for an Alpaca. Or is it just easier to get the Woodland Trust to do the killing for you as you are not allowed to any more. Or maybe it's not foxes and more likely doge, like you claimed in 2015.

Kevin · 126 days ago · Report

Also, at this time of year fox cubs will be dependent on their mothers, so if the woodland trust's stalker starts killing them, they will almost certainly perish. Horrible.

Kevin · 126 days ago · Report

What a load of old "pro-hunt" nonsense. This newspaper should be ashamed for printing such blatant lies and propaganda.

Sue Smith · 126 days ago · Report

He actually saw a fox kill them did he? More likely that it was his pack of fox hounds. This is propaganda so he can keep terrorising our wildlife.

Spike · 127 days ago · Report

So he has foxhounds - not exactly your average farmer. Perhaps you can dig a bit further and see if he is a blood sport enthusiast trying to gain sympathy for a return of hunting. Most studies suggest fox predation of lambs is quite low with good husbandry.As a Woodland Trust member I'd be concerned to verify this guy's story before going in with all guns blazing to slaughter wildlife.

C. Micah · 127 days ago · Report

News flash!! Latvia is the only European country that still hunts and kills wolf pups and pregnant females. Guard dogs protect small flocks,not mountains ranges. A pregnant alpaca cost £5,000 last time I checked. Sheds house machinery/feed/animals. Some sheep lamb indoors,& limitedindoors to avoid bacterial infection. No grants. A humane approach to fox control is needed. There is nothing wrong with trapping/shooting predators. Farmers accept losses to fox, but not to the excess.

Ruth Griffiths · 127 days ago · Report

Its obvious why the woodland trust for nature which I support would not want foxhounds & guns on their land.!You know I see huge sheds going up on Welsh farms (hoping its not for dairy factory farming),probably with grants.I cannot see why sheep farmers cannot do the same with huge birthing sheds until lambs are old enough to not be threatened,well worth it...even if they are just herded in at night! I know 2 or 3 farmers appliedto parliament for the hunting with hounds to be resumed

Kate Dennis · 127 days ago · Report

I favour the Latvian solution of guard dogs but that would mean idle farmers actually training the dogs or paying for someone else to train them -"How much?" Tightwads.

Jayne · 127 days ago · Report

Protect your flock get out there, what did the hym say " while shepards watch their flock by night"

Annette · 128 days ago · Report

The only way hunting is going to protect life stock is if all predators were hunted to EXTINCTION. But they also claim - oblivious to the total contradiction - that they're helping the fox populations by weeding out the old and weak. So they want to protect the life stock by creating stronger fox populations. See how idiotic this is? I have asked people from Latvia, a country with excellent wildlife conservation, what their farmers do. Guard dogs. I hear alpacas are useful as well.

Kym Routledge · 128 days ago · Report

Maybe you should bring them in at night....???? Or is that too obvious for you?

Denise Liebmann · 128 days ago · Report

And you can't enclosure your livestock overnight to protect them? Let common sense prevail indeed!

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