An animal welfare group in Kent is releasing foxes into the countryside near free-range chicken runs in order to give them a better chance of survival.

The claims were made after a dog-walker near Maidstone in Kent accidentally came across a fox release pen and a supply of dog food belonging to a charity called the Fox Project. He took photos and a video of the site, which he then passed to the online broadcaster Fieldsports Channel.TV (visit http://youtu.be/ bS4Hnjyr1bc).

Presenter and former Shooting Times columnist Charlie Jacoby said: ?This footage proves that animal welfare groups are releasing unfit and orphaned foxes into the wild. Young foxes are being fed on dog food and it?s very unlikely they will survive.?

The Fieldsports Channel interviewed local smallholder Phil Chandler, who told the programme makers that he believed foxes in the area were more numerous, getting bolder and looking for easy prey as ?they don?t know how to hunt.?

He said: ?They seem to be taking the easy option, which obviously is people?s chickens. People try to keep chickens more naturally, but they?re not able to do it with the amount of foxes we?ve got round here.?

Charlie Jacoby told Shooting Times that he believed organisations such as the Fox Project and the RSPCA deliberately choose release sites next to other people?s pets and livestock, as they are a good source of food for the foxes.

The rest of this article appears in 13th July issue of Shooting Times.

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