"Cut off fox’s food supply so as to limit their numbers" is the message from Wandsworth Council.

A press release from the council, which says it does not deal with foxes, urges residents to put their rubbish bags in a bin with a lid so as to limit their food supply.

Deputy leader of the council and environment spokesman, Councillor Jonathan Cook said: "Foxes are now a common sight in London.

"While some people welcome them as an interesting addition to the capital's wildlife others view them as pests who cause a multitude of problems.

"The most humane and natural way to control the fox population is to limit their food supply. The less food there is for them to eat - the fewer there will be."

Baited cage traps, shooting, commercial animal repellents and snaring are just some of the other methods discussed within the release from Wandsworth Council on dealing with the "problem" of foxes, although a spokesman said it was not suggesting them, only discussing them.

The release said:  "There are a number of commercial animal repellents available, but only those approved for use against foxes under the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 may be used. 

"Although snaring is a legal method of fox control, it does pose risks for domestic animals. Snares must be visited at least once a day, but ideally more frequently to minimise the suffering of any animals caught.

"Shooting is not usually appropriate in urban areas, but where it is carried out, care must be taken to ensure the safety of the public and other wildlife.

"If a vixen is shot during the breeding season, the den has to be traced and the whole family of cubs humanely killed.

"Baited cage traps can be used successfully in urban areas but captured foxes have to be humanely killed by shooting or by a vet. 

"It is considered unlawful under animal welfare legislation to release a trapped fox in unfamiliar surroundings outside its home range. 

"The council will not deal with foxes. As with any pest, responsibility for dealing with foxes lies with the landowner and householders are strongly advised to contact a professional pest control company."

Last year London Mayor Boris Johnson said urban foxes were a "growing problem" after a baby’s finger was severed by one in south east London.

However, although statistics are hard to come by, the University of Bristol’s Mammal Research Unit said last year little had changed since the last national census in the 1980s.

The Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management cited similar figures saying urban foxes account for just 14 per cent of the total population.

The council said many fox-related complaints referred to their presence in gardens.

For more information visit wandsworth.gov.uk/foxes.