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The proposed measure in the Virginia General Assembly to ban fox penning has been shelved for a year. More than an hour of testimony was presented to the Senate Agriculture Committee at a meeting crowded with animal rights advocates and pro-hunting forces.

Supporters of the bill argued that the practice is inhumane and often ends in the death of the fox. Hunters maintained that it’s a safe and secure way to train young hounds, and that escape earths are provided to ensure the safety of the fox.

Hunters also said that the practice has been wrongfully portrayed. The purpose, they maintain, is to train hounds—not to kill foxes.

Senators expressed confusion at the wide variance in how fox pens are portrayed by the opposing sides. Bob Duncan, Director of Virginia’s Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, who has visited fox pens, said that while the pens aren’t as portrayed by some proponents of the bill, there are probably improvements that could be made in the protocol for the benefit of the foxes, and he was certain that responsible hunters would work with the department to achieve those ends.

Action on the bill was continued to 2013.

Read Chelyen Davis’s complete article in The Free Lance-Star.

Posted February 14, 2012

Comments   

+1 # Cheryl Microutsicos 2012-02-17 07:56
The cynic in me just thinks they want more time to come up with more reasons to close them.... but let's keep fighting the fight for our rights.
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# Meaghan Meany 2012-03-02 17:49
As depressing as it is, I don't think that this issue will ever go away until the animal rights activists win. I know that the whole fox hunting community will keep fighting for our fox pens and our hunting rights, but I think that it is going to be a long fight. Eventually, even if it takes years, I think we will lose. It makes me angry. :sad:
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# Babette Cade 2012-03-04 19:59
The SPCA, animal rights activists, PETA, etc. will always be on the offense to close and control any form of animal contact with people. And any bill they sponsor is only a furtherance of their political interests. Defensive measures on the part of fox hunters is one part of the battle. This type of encroachment must be repelled. Otherwise, you will soon be riding the mechanical horse in front of the grocery store. Undermine these people at all costs. Pessimism is defeatist. We will win.
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