Fox and coyote penning; Class 1 misdemeanor for purpose of hunting or killing with dogs. (SB202)

Introduced By

Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Burke)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Penning of fox and coyote; penalty.  Makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person to erect or maintain an enclosure for the purpose of pursuing, hunting, or killing or attempting to pursue, hunt, or kill a fox or coyote with dogs. It is also a Class 1 misdemeanor to pursue, hunt, or kill or attempt to pursue, hunt, or kill a fox or coyote within such an enclosure with dogs. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/10/2012Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/12
01/10/2012Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/12 12102906D
01/10/2012Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
02/09/2012Continued to 2013 in Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources (13-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HB695.


Gerbera writes:

So sad that visitors to the site have voted against a bill that bans a brutal practice.

Karen Kantor writes:

This bill is long overdue. I'm embarrassed that this practice is currently legal in Virginia.

Ann Shirley writes:

We, as Virginians, must not allow this Michael Vick mentality to continue.

Tom Mayfield writes:

It's a pity that we are still having such a discussion in 2012.

Alice writes:

Agree with Gerbera's comment. Those of us opposed to brutal practices, as fox-penning unquestionably is, need to make our voices known and put a halt to this barbaric practice.

Wanda writes:

There is NOTHING barbaric about it! Educate yourselves on fox pens before you have an opinion.

Wil Preddy writes:

Everyone who has commented so far about this bill literally knows nothing about what goes on in fox pens. These are not small pens where the animals are forced to fight, nor are they forced to fight against each other, for those who bring up Michael Vick's mentality. These are huge pens that have plenty of room for the animals and also allow plenty of hiding places for the game. Dogs are not forced into trying to kill these animals. They have been bred to do it for hundreds of years. We has dog hunters use these pens has training aids and also has a way to exercise our dogs. Yes, I know I said exercise, how horrible for a dog to run. Everyone dog you see now has atleast $150 worth of equipment that ensures hunters can catch them so that they can be fed and give care if they need it. These pens allow us to do things we like without bothering other people. Foxes and coyotes get fed. Foxes and coyotes get run. No one wants to kill anything with the dogs.

Van Sykes writes:

Obviously the people voting to pass this bill know nothing about fox pens. I am a dog owner, i have grew up using fox pens not only do they help train and keep my dogs in shape. They also help keep them safe I don't have to worry about them running across a road and be hit by oncoming traffic. Every fox pen I have ever been to has plenty of land for foxes and coyotes to live on the pens accommodate these animals by giving them food, shelter, and vaccination. For you that try and compare this to Vicks dog fighting. These pens are huge and have plenty of trees and low lying bushes which means the visibility in these pens are low ( less of a chance for a fox fo coyote being seen). The fighting rings Vick used were cages no bigger than a standard size living room. My dogs are trained to hunt but they are not killers. They will chase a fox and coyote but I have never seen one of my dogs attack and kill the foxes and coyotes. Honestly the only way any of you people that don't agree with what I say I ask that you join me. So I can prove to you that these pens are not cruel. They are used for training purposes only.

RM writes:

I think what people need to realize about this practice is how much safer it is than in the past. In the past, hunters and their dogs were let loose on big tracts of land, the hunters stood beside the roads and the dogs chased the foxes all over creation, and many dogs and foxes got hit in the road. These fox "pens" that you crazy animal rights people want to talk about are 1,000 acre pens. Do you understand 1000 acres? I feel like people think of a fox pen as a 10'x 10' dog pen.

Alice writes:

I understand these are large pens. I understand that while some pens may truly serve in the simple training capacity for which they were intended, many of these facilities have evolved into high-volume competitive bloodsports. As always, responsible agents must bear the burden of those who choose to behave irresponsibly. I'm familiar with the factual details of fox-penning, the large numbers of fox required to continually replace those that are ripped apart, and the inability of state agencies to effectively manage the lawful operation of these pens. It has nothing to do with animal rights and everything to do with a respect for God's creation. Too bad that so many lack this respect.

Albert Turner writes:

What is "natural" about fox penning? Wild animals have precious little chance of surviving gangs of dogs and men with guns out in the wild, but they have precious little chance in a pen, regardless of how large it is.

I have known many responsible hunters over the years and I can assure you that they would not approve of this pracice.

Let's pass this bill and help restore a wider respect for Virginia's wild life.

cody writes:

Coyotes are A big problem for deerhunters like myself I perfer to shoot them if I see them their is no bag limit .Their should be more people hunting them stillhunters and houndsmen.

Peggy writes:

It was a shock to me to find out this inhumane practice is legal and going on here in Virginia.
There is nothing sporting about trapping wild animals, removing them from their natural habitats, fencing them in, then setting dogs loose on them.
Dogs can be sufficiently exercised without tormenting other sentient creatures.