Shoppers are being urged to boycott Sainsbury's after a fox was allegedly shot and killed at its Crayford supermarket.

People have been expressing their anger on social media after the retailer called in pest control to deal with a fox problem at the store.

An onlooker posted on Facebook that they had seen a “trapped” fox “shot and killed” in a cage.

The anonymous post, put on the Dartford Gossip page, said: "I got off the train at Crayford and saw a hired exterminator contractor shoot and kill a fox trapped in a cage set by Sainsbury’s. I know people who work there for confirmation. Disgusting." 

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Photo by Donna Zimmer

Taking to Twitter, many shoppers have said they will now boycott the store and have offered the company advice on how to deal with foxes.

Donna Zimmer, a wildlife volunteer and member of Friends of Crayford Marshes, said: "I will not be shopping with Sainsbury's again as I am disgusted by the way this store opted to contact pest control to have this fox destroyed rather than contact the various wildlife charities such as the RSPCA or The Fox Project that would have come out to check on the animal's health and would have dealt with this situation very differently."

Richard Bowler, a wildlife photographer, said: “The Sainsbury's store at Crayford have had a fox trapped and shot today. Please share and boycott.”

Sainsbury’s Crayford superstore was the largest of the company's stores in the country when it expanded in 2010.

A spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s confirmed pest control was called but did not mention a shooting.

She said: “A number of foxes have tried to gain access to the store on several occasions.

“As a food retailer this presents a health risk to both our colleagues and customers so we consulted pest control experts.”

"Pest control experts followed the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health officers Guidelines to help us protect our colleagues and customers."

Guidelines set out by the Chartered Institute of Enviromental Health confirm "controlled shooting" is legal on a case by case basis.