Due to their history of raiding chicken coups, and their taking of ducks and other small farm animals, foxes have frequently been regarded as vermin. In some cases, foxes have been mistakenly accused of killing lambs and calves while they attempted to scavenge their afterbirths. As a result, many have been shot, poisoned, or snared over the years. Even today foxes are sometimes persecuted in an attempt to preserve various game birds and animals for hunting.
While it is true that foxes can wreak havoc among unaccustomed bird populations, no conclusive evidence has been found to suggest that a reduction in fox population will increase the respective bird populations.
More than anything else, most farmers now welcome the sight of foxes on their land. A fox can be beneficial to agriculture by eating crop destroying vermin such as mice, voles, rats, and rabbits. Enlightened to the potential advantages of having foxes around, most farmers are now content to leave them alone, so long as individual animals don’t present a problem.