Outcry at Westminster’s fox ‘menace’ as cat found ripped apart

Mother comes across pet’s body while taking daughter to nursery

A graphic image of a cat apparently killed by foxes in Queen’s Park has been circulated by residents desperate for action to be taken against the urban fox in north Westminster.

The ginger and white cat’s body, with part of its leg and throat missing, was seen by Sarah Weaver while walking her three-year-old daughter Luella to nursery last Wednesday.

The discovery came weeks after a petition was launched calling on Westminster Council to “protect residents, their children and pets from foxes”.

The petition says foxes are becoming “an increasing menace in many parts of Westminster, including the Queen’s Park and St John’s Wood areas”.

The council said that foxes were classified as “a nuisance rather than a pest”.

But Mrs Weaver said she hoped the image of the dead cat, which the Wood&Vale decided was too graphic to publish, would persuade council bosses to “take the issue seriously”.

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The 38-year-old said: “Luckily I saw a street cleaner, so I went to ask him who I should call to have it removed.

“He told me that it was up to him to clear it away and asked me to take him to where it was.

“He took one look at it and said ‘foxes’. While we were there a local resident passed by and said that she had seen the foxes there many times and that they don’t even bother to move out of her way when she walks past.”

Mrs Weaver said her family was afraid to use the garden of their Third Avenue home because there were foxes in it.

“I find it absolutely disgusting that pets are being mutilated in this way and the council refuses to do anything about it,” she said.

“They are everywhere at all times of day and night and this has gone way beyond just being a garden pest when we find cats with their throats ripped out as we walk our children to school.”

Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg, who launched the petition, said the discovery of the dead cat was “a shocking development in the growing problem with urban foxes all over north Westminster”.

A council spokesman said: “Foxes are classed as a nuisance rather than pest as they are not considered a meaningful threat to human health. Advice on deterring foxes is available on the council website including correct disposal of food waste, use of repellents and removing structures which could provide shelter.”