Hens poaching increasing at an alarming rate – or is it?
Talk about poaching in front of a brood of hens and they will give you a sidewards look.
Now though it may get even worse.
A new report which initially unearthed what appeared to be an alarming increase in hen poaching is now being questioned by animal activists group AHIFC.
AHIFC claim that hen poaching has always been with us, but the scale of the problem was previously underestimated as foxes were often blamed when in fact most hens are taken by specialist Hen Poachers poaching hens on demand.
The survey was initially commissioned to see just how much of an increase in hens being lost to foxes would occur with the banning of fox hunting.
When initial findings indicated that the expected increase in the loss of hens to foxes was far lower than predicted the authors of the report began to look closer at the figures and went through historic documents where they discovered a shocking correlation between the number of hens being lost in an area to the number of Indian restaurants being opened in that area.
Graphs also indicate a close correlation between the increase in hens being lost to the increase in popularity of chicken tikka masala within the UK.
What pointed the authors towards these findings was the dicovery of a surprise jump in the number of Hens being lost in 1952 – 1954 which had previously been put down to an increase in fox numbers.
The reports authors now claim the increase in hens being lost is a direct result in the popularity of coronation chicken and little to do with fox numbers.
AHIFC say this proves beyond doubt that foxes are not to blame for the majority of hen loss cases and that humans are the biggest culprits, they go on to say the myth that a fox will get in to a chicken coop and kill all the hens is one that has been spread by hen poachers so as to pass the blame on to the foxes.