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Florida Bans Cruel Fox and Coyote Pens!

Florida Bans Cruel Fox and Coyote Pens!

After a year of deliberating over the issue, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) voted unanimously last Wednesday in favor of a statewide ban on fox and coyote pens.

Fox and coyote pens were created for what their proponents call a well-intentioned means of training hunting dogs. However, they’re nothing more than a barbaric form of state-sanctioned cruelty that is no different from dog fighting.

After foxes and coyotes are trapped in the wild, they’re shipped to pens and released only to run for their lives and find there’s nowhere to hide while dogs chase them in training exercises often ending in injury or death by literally being cornered and torn apart.

While regulations require that escape routes be provided, investigations have found that these routes and hiding places are sometimes intentionally blocked.

Not only do pens inflict unnecessary cruelty of a most violent nature on wildlife, they also open the door to other problems, such as a black market for coyotes and the spread of diseases, including the introduction of a new form of rabies that came into Florida with animals from Texas.

“The animal smugglers could also set loose on Florida a tapeworm that can be picked up from foxes, coyotes, dogs and cats. In humans, it causes parasitic tumors in the liver, sometimes in the brain or lungs, with symptoms that don’t show up for five to 15 years. It has already turned up in foxes taken from South Carolina pens,” according to the FWC.

Last November, a 10-month FWC investigation lead to 12 arrests for illegal animal trade, in addition to uncovering pens operating without permits. In February, commissioners agreed to temporarily ban the practice while possible solutions were considered.

While they could have chosen to slowly phase out pens or increase regulations, they voted on an all out ban, which will carry over from the temporary ban.

“We commend the FWC for this decision,” said Camilla Fox, Executive Director of Project Coyote and Wildlife Consultant for the Animal Welfare Institute.

“The Commission was under a lot of pressure from a small, vocal minority of pen operators to sanction this activity. But they made the right decision today by banning a practice that should be relegated to the recesses of America’s dark past. Florida’s commendable stand on this issue sends a clear message to the other states that sanctioning such brutal killing of wildlife is unacceptable. As a nation we have banned both dog fighting and cockfighting and it’s time we do the same for penning.”

For more information on fox and coyote pens and ways to help stop wildlife penning visit Project Coyote and Training Not Torture.

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309 comments

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5:27AM PDT on Mar 22, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

4:38PM PST on Jan 31, 2013

There should be a national law banning it in all states.

10:28AM PDT on Oct 31, 2012

Susan G ........ I must've missed something - When did Florida move to Canada ??

Only joking, it must've been that you've got Canada on your mind because you are so upset about the seal situation (aren't we all?).

10:20AM PDT on Oct 31, 2012

GOOD FOR YOU FLORIDA !!!! Good to see that you're more intelligent that VIRGINIA; They still can't make their minds up !!!!!!!!!!

9:00AM PDT on Oct 31, 2012

"This is my simple religion: there is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness." Dalai Lama

9:00AM PDT on Oct 31, 2012

"This is my simple religion: there is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness." Dalai Lama

4:33AM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

Well done Canada with the ban. Now start thinking about your seal hunting!

11:00AM PST on Jan 27, 2012

What primitive savagery and, until now, entirely legal. The mind truly boggles at the mentality of those in authority who have allowed such a sickening practice to continue.

At long last some sanity has been restored.

10:38PM PDT on Sep 9, 2011

Good job, Florida. Love these animals.

8:53AM PDT on Jul 29, 2011

My family used to have a dog that was half coyote and half sheppherd. Best dog we ever had, loving, loyal, and had a good sense of people. I believe in hunting for food, not sport. With the economy, it may become a necessity. However cruelty is NOT a part of hunting! A hunter shoots and either he hits and it's over or he misses and he'd best be harvesting the farm. Sometimes he hits but doesn't kill and thats unfortunate all the way round. But it wasn't an intentional cruelty. These "wild" animals could easily be "tamed" to the point of being our friends. Sick kids seem to do really well with animals and these animals could do well in our society. We, as a species, would rather kill and be uncaring to anyone but ourselves. I am thankful for others like myself who are enlightened, caring, and understanding. Compassion should be extended to ALL living beings!

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