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Complainant Name:
Miss Adele Brand

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Metro


Miss Adele Brand complained to the Press Complaints Commission that an article had inaccurately stated that experts believed urban fox numbers to have quadrupled since 2007. She said that population trends are not a matter of opinion; rather, such information was scientific fact which could only be corroborated by appropriate survey techniques. She added that the leading scientific experts on the matter at the University of Bristol had conducted research indicating that fox numbers have generally remained constant over the last decade.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC helped to negotiate publication of the following clarification:

An online article of 11 June stated that experts have warned of a quadrupling of urban fox numbers since 2007.

Such a claim was not supported by the text.

We would make clear that our story was based on an item from another newspaper, which quoted the chairman of the National Pest Technicians Association reporting a rise in the number of calls regarding urban foxes.

We are not aware of the official statistics, but have been asked to point out that there is scientific data showing that fox numbers have remained constant.

Date Published: 10/08/2010

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