Lack of hunting due to FMD has resulted in significant financial loss to farmers from.

Two surveys released this week carried out by the Countryside Alliance and the Federation of Welsh Packs show the hunting suspension brought about by FMD has resulted in significant financial losses to farms from fox predation.

The surveys found that since the suspension, which began on 22 February, normal fox cull numbers have been reduced by 4,900 and a total of 2,240 days hunting have been lost.

There were 4,700 calls from farmers asking for assistance with fox damage and Welsh sheep farms lost an average £500 in stock through additional predation. This was calculated from the losses of 118 farms regularly visited in a normal winter by 14 of the 50 member hunts from the federation of Welsh packs.

The full impact of this population increase may well not be felt until well into the latter part of this year and next year, when increased numbers of vixens will be breeding cubs.

Although hunting has only been banned since February, the short term effects are already being felt giving a clear indication of the implication of a permanent ban.

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