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Virginia Legislation

Sponsor(s): Sen. David Marsden (D-37)

SB 1280 Restricts Fox and Coyote Penning [2013]

Born Free USA position: SUPPORT

Update: This bill passed the Senate on 2/5/13 with a vote of 24-16, but died in the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee on 2/18/13.

Bill description: Limits the cruel practice of “fox and coyote penning” — enclosing a fox or coyote in to be killed or harassed by dogs. While it is not a complete ban, this bill takes an important step by prohibiting any competition where any fox or coyote is pursued by dogs and the fox or coyote is in an enclosure, limiting the number of dogs allowed in an enclosure and more.

Fox penning organizers force dozens of dogs to compete in a fenced-in area to chase—and sometimes rip apart—foxes and coyotes. The wild animals are caught in leghold traps that cause anguish through broken bones or other wounds, and transported in cages to the pen. The caged animals may be trucked hundreds of miles with no food or water, and some animals die on the trip. Once the event begins, the fox or coyote must run for his life inside fences where there is no hope of getting away. With dogs tearing apart the captive animals, there is a constant demand for fresh wildlife for the fox pens.

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