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A plan to phase out fox pens in the Commonwealth over a forty-year period was endorsed by the Agricultural Committee of the Virginia House of Delegates yesterday. The Richmond Times-Dispatch characterized the 18-3 vote as significant, since the House has traditionally been more reluctant than the Senate to interfere with foxhound training pens.

Under the approved plan, fox pens would be allowed to continue to operate for the next forty years, but no new pens would be allowed to open.

Foxhound training pens are used by many hunts around the country as a part of their puppy training program. The pens are also used by individuals who simply enjoy running their hounds. Foxes are provided with refuges within the pen to allow them to escape hounds when pressed. There are rules that limit the number of hounds that may be in a pen at any one time.

In addition to the use of fox pens for training, pens have also been used for foxhound field trials. Last year the Virginia Senate banned competition in fox pens.

The state of Florida has already banned the operation of fox pens.

Posted February 27, 2014

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