Tom Keightley’s opinion that 75% of urban foxes should be culled, eliminating mother and cubs, does not mention this would need to be done each and every year for a long time (Letters, September 1).

As a pest controller, he has vested interests. Government trials over a 30-year period achieved no reduction in the fox population.

Urban fox life expectancy is two to three years. Up to 50% are killed on the roads, with 80% dying before they breed.

Because foxes have been in urban areas for so long, they are self-regulating. A large proportion do not breed each year and litters are small.

His accusations that some organisations are only interested in the cute while thousands of undefended fleas and cockroaches are killed is absurd.

Wildlife organisations are experts in their field and can provide advice on humane deterrent methods, which I agree require persistence.

As for diseases, toxoplasmosis is found in domestic cats and cannot be contracted from foxes. Toxocara may be carried by cats and dogs but no infection has been ascribed to a fox.

Mange exists in a variety of strains, which are specific to different animals – in the unlikely event this is transmitted to a human, there is a mild reaction and the mite dies away.

Occasionally there is a media frenzy when it is alleged a fox has attacked a human. However, little if anything is reported when evidence indicates otherwise or is proved unfounded.

Sam Rillim, Middleton Avenue, Hove

Tom Keightley might welcome increased income from shooting foxes, but he ignores decades of scientific research and Government policy.

Defra policy from May 2010 says attempts to kill urban foxes to reduce the population have not been successful because of fox mobility and their ability to produce many offspring. It adds that the most effective strategies are non-lethal, preventative methods.

Mr Keightley also claims that people who care about foxes don’t care about other “less cuddly” wildlife. Not true.

Animal Aid, the UK’s largest animal rights organisation, recently sent out a booklet to 1,000 local authorities urging them to adopt humane, non-lethal policies for dealing with rats, mice, pigeons and squirrels.

The booklet has been reviewed and praised by Pest magazine, which says it “certainly warrants a place on pest controllers’ bookshelves”.

Mr Keightley’s support for killing wildlife seems outdated.

John Bryant, Tonbridge, Kent

I thought the idea of pest control was to humanely “take out” animals causing unsolvable problems in an area.

Wildlife in general is having a hard enough time surviving these days.

Surely Mr Keightley knows wildlife will regulate itself and has been doing so for centuries.

He says foxes are increasingly attacking people (has he figures to prove this?) making it necessary to reduce the fox population. Would he apply this to dogs where figures show increased attacks on people?

How can culling improve the gene pool? Does he know every fox’s family tree before he blasts them into oblivion?

He also seems to be taking a swipe at wildlife rescue centres who, he says, trap them live, stressing them unnecessarily before abandoning them in another area. This is nonsense.

Wildlife rescue centres help foxes and suchlike when they are in trouble through injury, with the intention of releasing them back into their home territory.

He wonders why organisations don’t protect cockroaches, bed bugs, rats and fleas. Well, Mr Keightley, these creatures have invaded our homes and that is why people need you to eradicate them.

It is common sense to live in a clean home. Most people keep “pest” eradication within the walls of their homes.

Roger Musselle, Roger’s Wildlife Rescue, Downs Valley Road, Woodingdean