Demand Full Ban on Fox Penning


Target: Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe

Goal: Impose a complete ban on the practice of fox penning

Though a recent bill from Virginia has cracked down on fox penning—a bloodsport in which dogs are released into fenced areas to chase and kill foxes and coyotes—the practice has not been fully banned. New facilities may not open, but existing ones still remain. Demand that we put a stop to this cruel and barbaric practice and protect coyotes and foxes from a needless, brutal death.

Every part of the penning process is unethical, beginning with the capture of coyotes and foxes using leg-hold traps. Transported across state lines, often without water or food and suffering injuries from capture, these animals are then placed in fenced areas from which they cannot escape. Dogs are then set loose to chase, maul, and often kill the penned foxes and coyotes. Because deaths are so prevalent, there is a constant demand for new animals. Also, the dogs involved are subject to needless injury inflicted by their prey defending themselves. Though some people may point out that the practice of fox penning is a tradition training method, that is no excuse for the cruelty and suffering that penned animals undergo.

Despite steps to reduce fox penning, the practice is still fully legal. Arguably as cruel and unethical as dog-fighting, fox penning has nevertheless received inadequate attention. That it has not been outright prohibited is a travesty. The Virginia government has taken the first important steps toward ending this bloodsport. It is clear from the actions of the legislature that attitudes are changing. Yet, we must demand further and broader action. This practice must end, not simply be regulated or reduced. Urge legislators to impose a full ban on fox penning.


Dear Governor Terry McAuliffe,

Though I was very happy to hear that the Virginia legislature took steps to crack down on fox pens, I was disappointed that the practice was not banned. It is a cruel and barbaric bloodsport on the same level of cruelty as dogfighting. Not only are animals forced to suffer during the hunt itself, they are also subject to cruel trapping and transport practices.

The recent legislation has taken the first steps toward addressing the cruelty of fox penning. I urge you to go even farther, and ban fox penning all together. It is hard to see how this so-called sport is any different from cockfighting or dogfighting or how it is still legal. Without an outright ban, fox penning will allow the suffering of wildlife to continue for no reason. Please demand an end to penning, and spare animals the abuse endured in the name of tradition.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Keven Law via Wikimedia Commons

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