December 26, 2019
The RSPCA is investigating claims made by prominent lawyer Jolyon Maugham that he clubbed a fox to death with a baseball bat. 
RSPCA Investigating After Prominent Lawyer Jolyon Maugham Kills Fox With Baseball Bat While Wearing Kimono
Maugham, who founded the Good Law Project, said on Twitter on Thursday morning: “Already this morning I have killed a fox with a baseball bat. How’s your Boxing Day going?”
He clarified in a series of later tweets that he had acted in attempt to save his chickens, and claimed he had been wearing his wife’s kimono at the time of the incident. Already this morning I have killed a fox with a baseball bat. How's your Boxing Day going?— Jo Maugham QC (@JolyonMaugham) December 26, 2019With almost 180,000 followers to his name, the tweet was met with almost immediate revulsion by a number of social media users – with animal charity RSPCA quickly brought into the conversation. “The first thing I always do after bludgeoning a trapped animal to death with a baseball bat is boast about it on Twitter. It was the only option available, but go ahead and judge me.” Get in the bin— Rohan (@Chops8592) December 26, 2019Just read thread. Grim. Anyone keeping chickens should ensure the fencing is strong enough to keep the chickens safe and the foxes unable to get entangled. If you keep fox snacks in your garden the fox has the right to try for a meal. More than you have a right to kill it.— Lucy Briers (@lucyjbriers) December 26, 2019A spokesperson for the organisation has since clarified that they are aware of the reports and are “looking into it”. 
The RSPCA said on Twitter that the incident was “distressing” and urged “anyone with firsthand information” to come forward. 
Maugham claimed the fox had “got caught up in the protective netting around the chickens” as he “wasn’t sure what else to do”, and said “no one should relish killing animals.” 
Government guidelines state that if a fox is caught in a trap or snare on a person’s property, they must “humanely kill any fox you catch while it’s in the trap or snare”.
Gassing or poisoning foxes is prohibited.
Maugham later apologised on Twitter to anyone who had been “upset” by the tweet, and said he had contacted the RSPCA himself to report what had happened. Sorry to those upset by my tweet. My chickens were very distressed by the fox - both before and after I'd despatched it - and I wanted it out of the way quickly.— Jo Maugham QC (@JolyonMaugham) December 26, 2019Related... Dozens of Boxing Day Hunts Ride Out As Campaigners Call For Tougher Laws How I Survived Five Days, And One Bear, In The Freezing Alaskan Wilderness Brighton Security Guard Charged Over Attacks That Killed And Injured 16 Cats
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