Wildlife officials in Virginia will be considering the practice of fox penning, among other issues, at a meeting to take place in Richmond on June 13. Fox penning, called “wholesome family entertainment” by its proponents, entails letting loose hunting dogs on fenced-in, wild foxes, who frequently suffer horrific deaths.
Supporters of fox penning contend that this is a good way to train dogs for the hunt. Opponents counter that it is ethically indefensible animal cruelty. Dog fighting, a one-on-one contest, is illegal in all 50 states, while fox penning, which is anything but one-on-one, is still allowed to take place in Virginia.
Biologically speaking, foxes and dogs belong to the Canid family of mammals. They are close cousins. If we as a nation have banned dog fighting, why can’t we see our way in the Old Dominion to ban fox penning, or at least severely restrict it?
Anyone interested in speaking out against fox penning may do so before the board of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries at its June meeting. For more information, you may contact Clay Fulghum (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kim Buzzell (email@example.com).