News24

Foxes eat 'royal' hens

2010-08-17 22:38

London - Foxes have killed dozens of hens on the country estate of Prince Charles, leading to a shortage of eggs in the prince's organic farm shop, the royal palace in London said on Tuesday.

It said the foxes had jumped over a 1.2m electric fence at the Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire, south-west England, to attack the hens in broad daylight - killing about 40 in recent weeks.

"There has been a shortage of eggs but there are still a number of hens laying," said a spokesperson for Clarence House, the prince's London residence.

The eggs are usually sold in an organic farm shop attached to the estate in nearby Tetbury.

Farmers have long complained of a growing fox plague in rural England, which some link to the controversial ban on hunting foxes with dogs.

But foxes have in recent years also made inroads into urban areas, where many have made private gardens their home.

In June, nine-month-old twin baby girls were mauled by foxes while asleep in their cots in east London.

Both survived the attack which caused serious injuries to their faces and arms.