Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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The News Virginian reports that proposals in the General Assembly would ban fox penning. Some hunt clubs use fox pens to train young hounds to hunt the proper quarry. Other foxhound enthusiasts use the pens to conduct competitive field trials.

Identical proposals for banning the practice have been introduced by Senator David W. Marsden, D-Fairfax and Delegate Kenneth R. Plum, D-Fairfax. Supporters of the ban claim that it is a cruel sport that ends with penned foxes being killed by hounds.

There are thirty-four state-licensed fox pens currently active in Virginia. Under state licensing rules, pens must be no less than one hundred acres in size with holes into which foxes can hide or escape. Other safeguards for the health and protection of the penned foxes are mandated by the licensing rules. The pens are regulated by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Laura Donahue, Virginia Director of the Humane Society of the United States calls fox penning Virginia’s most shamefully kept secret. HSUS and the Richmond SPCA are among the groups fighting fox penning in Virginia. HSUS says there are about twenty other states in the country that allow fox penning. Florida, where coyote penning was also allowed, banned the practice in 2010.

For more details, see Rex Springston’s article.

Posted January 24, 2012


+2 # Cheryl Microutsicos 2012-01-24 19:08
Hot topic in VA for sure! I saw articles in the Richmond Times Dispatch and on and commented on both, and was pleasantly surprised to see most of the comments were pro fox pens.... Many hunts don't use them, some do, but the thing to remember is that if they close down fox pens it is just one step closer to closing down hunting.
+1 # alex 2012-01-28 17:48
Yea I'm completley for keeping fox pens open. I own dogs and I run dogs in a pen regularly and I know for a fact that 99% of the things the news is telling people ain't true. They mak it out to be a blood sport and that all we want to do is chase the foxes and kill them but we really don't because the way I see it is if that fox is killed then it ain't there to run next time and they mak it out like there's no way they can escape but the foxes have holes and barrows they can go to get away along with the barrows that the pen owners have made to help with that. and yeah if this passes there just getting closser to doing away with hunting.
+2 # D.R. 2012-02-04 00:36
These treehuggers need to quit worrying about a fox and start worrying about how we can get out of this recession, or how to get out of trillions of dollars in debt. Start getting some jobs in this country. It's crazy how assbackwards these politicians are.
+1 # Marianne Sobchak 2012-02-05 16:23
Please notice that they are from Northern Virginia. I live in Northern Virginia and these guys have no idea about the traditions of fox hunting in VIrginia. They are after votes. Write your representatives in Richmond, VA and make your voice heard. The next step will be to stop all hunting in VA.
# Andy Bozdan 2012-02-07 10:52
Sounds like you guys need to wake up and fight for your right to hunt! We in England woke up too late and although we fought it for over 30 years we eventually could not stop the ban being introduced in the UK. If we had responded more robustly sooner when the first attempts were being made to end hunting then perhaps our sport now would be legal still! I am of course talking about the UK situation but this is how it starts!!!!
# Marjorie Stuart 2012-02-07 19:24
How is fox penning seriously different than penning pheasants/chukk ar/quail for teaching upland game dogs to hunt? Seems like similar method, just different animal.
Are they going after these other forms of training hunting dogs with live animals as well?
# Norman Fine 2012-02-07 19:58
This proposed legislation has certainly generated some passionate comments on FHL.

Yours is very interesting, Marjorie, because I haven't heard this question raised, but it certainly is a good and valid point. No, I haven't read anything about banning pheasant pens, but you can be sure that if the animal right agenda succeeds here, the game bird pens will be next. The AR strategy is often to go after the easiest target first, and slowly chip away piece by piece.
-1 # Hildreth McCarthy 2012-02-14 15:48
Oh, yes they are definitely against all HUNTING and hunting dogs are anathema to HSUS.

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