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Help Ban Coyote and Fox Penning in Virginia

May 24, 2013
by
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

BACKGROUND | SOURCE AWI

Dear Humanitarian,

Penning, the practice of confining coyotes and foxes in fenced-off enclosures and allowing packs of dogs to chase and often maul them for “sport” and “entertainment”—with no opportunity for protection or escape—is a cruel and vicious practice that is unfortunately prevalent in Virginia and some other states. Every year, thousands of coyotes and foxes are forced into numerous known penning operations in the state, both legally and illegally.

Aside from the suffering and egregious inhumane treatment of these animals, penning also leads to the spread of diseases associated with the translocation of wild foxes to these enclosures. Tests often reveal evidence of canine distemper and past exposure to a variety of viral diseases, including canine parvovirus, canine coronavirus, canine herpesvirus, and canine parainfluenza virus, as well as over 20 species of parasites.

In 2012, the Virginia state legislature considered bills from the Senate and House of Delegates proposing to ban the cruel practice, but unfortunately the bills died in committee. Now the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) is proposing to amend state regulations on penning.

However, the proposed regulations would not ban the practice outright, but merely establish standards that will allow much of the cruelty to continue unabated—and can even be waived at the discretion of the VDGIF director, should they be deemed too “onerous” for a penning facility operator. Although the regulations would thankfully prohibit the use of coyotes in penning facilities, they do not offer the same protection to foxes, which can still be run down and savagely torn apart by the dogs. Moreover, they do not mandate that operators obtain rabies vaccinations for dogs used in penning trials, thereby promoting the spread of disease.


WHAT YOU CAN DO

Please contact VDGIF today and request that it ban penning outright, or—at minimum—put forth regulations that do not allow these minimal requirements to be waived for any operators.

WHOM TO CONTACT

If you live outside of Virginia: Please email your comments to regcomments@dgif.virginia.gov no later than May 31, 2013 by 5 p.m. EDT.  Alternately, try dgifweb@dgif.virginia.gov.

If you are a Virginia resident: Please email your comments to regcomments@dgif.virginia.gov or submit them online at www.dgif.virginia.gov no later than May 31, 2013 by 5 p.m. EDT.

Alternatively, you can mail them to:

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Attn. Policy Analyst and Regulatory Coordinator
4016 West Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23230

There will also be a public meeting on the topic on Thursday, June 13, at 9:00 a.m. at 4000 West Broad Street in Richmond, Virginia.



SAMPLE LETTER | SOURCE AWI

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) is proposing to amend state regulations on penning.

However, the proposed regulations would not ban the practice outright, but merely establish standards that will allow much of the cruelty to continue unabated—and can even be waived at the discretion of the VDGIF director, should they be deemed too “onerous” for a penning facility operator.

Please ban penning outright, or—at minimum—put forth regulations that do not allow these minimal requirements to be waived for any operators.

Coyote and fox penning is barbaric and inhumane and parallels dog fighting. At least 3,600 fox have died in pens across Virginia in the last three years alone. In many cases, the wild canids are mauled to death by the dogs.

Penning facilities transmit diseases between wild canids and domestic animals, including rabies and parasites. Wild animals sold into these facilities are often transported from out of state without regulation or inspection.

Virginia lacks the resources to enforce the proposed regulations. There are too few conservation police officers to properly oversee that penning facilities follow the regulations.

By allowing for penning operators to waive out of minimal requirements, such as providing food and water to the foxes who live in these pens, the proposed regulation (4VAC15-290-160) effectively leaves penning operations unregulated.

for coyote/fox penning there is no
status humane.
it is cruel beyond measure
and is the essence
of terror and pain.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


16 Comments leave one →
  1. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    May 24, 2013 2:57 pm

    for coyote/fox penning there is no
    status humane.
    it is cruel beyond measure
    and is the essence
    of terror and pain.

    Like

    • karenlyonskalmenson permalink
      May 24, 2013 2:59 pm

      —– The delivery status notification errors —–

      : Host or domain name not found. Name service
      error for name=dgig.virginia.gov type=A: Host not found

      Like

      • May 24, 2013 3:19 pm

        Well, I sent two emails from my yahoo account and none came back, so I am completely clueless as to why yours did. I found this other one, though, so please try this one, hon: dgifweb@dgif.virginia.gov

        Like

      • May 24, 2013 3:21 pm

        Actually, I bet it’s dgif as that is what is on the site, not dgig. The other should work, though, thanks, hon.

        Like

  2. Carole permalink
    May 24, 2013 3:49 pm

    As usual selfish mindless humans at work for their own pure sick pleasure

    Like

  3. May 24, 2013 4:18 pm

    this is the wrong email address

    Like

  4. May 24, 2013 4:22 pm

    Thank you, the following should work, please try it: dgifweb@dgif.virginia.gov

    Like

  5. May 24, 2013 4:39 pm

    Emails sent thanks for providing the second address i almost missed it lol

    Like

  6. Christine Schmutz permalink
    May 25, 2013 9:18 am

    HI!  Your e-mail address for “out of state residents” is not working. Sorry!

    Like

  7. Zephr permalink
    May 25, 2013 11:40 am

    Reblogged this on Loki’s Gift.

    Like

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