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 (or coyotes) 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.
Under pressure from animal rights activists and evidence that certain Florida pen owners were breaking state game laws, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shut down all fox pens in February until it could work out new fox pen rules.
Two meetings have been held to allow stakeholders to come to a consensus on improved rules. However, of forty-seven proposals considered, only six could be agreed upon by both sides.
The Commissioners considered possible new rules but decided they would be unenforceable. They plan to vote this week on whether or not to ban the practice entirely in the state of Florida. (More on Naples News.)
August 30, 2010