Fox and coyote; unlawful to stage competition where they are pursued by dogs in an enclosure, etc. (SB1280)

Introduced By

Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Burke) with support from co-patrons Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), and Sen. John Miller (D-Newport News)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Fox and coyote enclosures; penalty. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/14/2013Presented and ordered printed 13104007D
01/14/2013Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
01/31/2013Reported from Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources with substitite (8-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
01/31/2013Committee substitute printed 13104834D-S1
02/04/2013Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/05/2013Read second time
02/05/2013Reading of substitute waived
02/05/2013Committee substitute agreed to 13104834D-S1
02/05/2013Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB1280S1
02/05/2013Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/05/2013Passed Senate (24-Y 16-N) (see vote tally)
02/11/2013Placed on Calendar
02/11/2013Read first time
02/11/2013Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
02/11/2013Assigned ACNRsub: Natural Resources
02/12/2013Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely
02/18/2013Left in Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 2 clips in all, totaling 3 minutes.


Tom writes:

Thank you, Sen. Marsden. Fox penning has nothing at all to do with hunting, and everything to do with a cruel practice that ranks up there with bear baiting and dog fighting. There is no sport in chasing a weakened fox around an enclosure the size of a hayfield until you wear it out so that the dogs can tear it up. I hope that the real hunters and sportsmen out there, those with more skill and higher ethics, will show support for this long-needed bill. We are not barbarians and this is the twenty-first century.

Lee Anne writes:

Senator Marsden, you are showing your heart and your humanity by sponsoring this bill. Virginians simply cannot continue to close their eyes to this gruesome activity. Should any opponents of the bill be reading this, please go to Google Images and simply enter 'fox penning pictures'. That is all anyone should need. Thank you.

Caroline Polk writes:

Fox hunting at its best is cruel; penning takes the sport to new lows. This bill should become law.

Seth Trice writes:

I completely oppose this bill. These pens are not the size of hayfields. The smallest one I've been in is 300 acres. The foxes have hole and boxes and they are not tore up. These senators and all people supporting this bill don't know anything about the pens because they've never been in one. All supporters are going off what the humane society is saying. We have these hunts to raise money for the homeless and disabled. This is a sport and should not be outlawed

austin writes:

Seth is completely right. Anyone who has EVER been in a fox pen before would know that there is no fighting going on. These fox are taken care of and fed and are given medicine. Most don't even realize there in a pen that's how big they are. And if you don't believe anybody opposing this bill how about you come to the pen one night so we can change your mind.

Tanner writes:

Seth and Austin are completly right

Mike writes:

Im opposed to this activity, if any of the above three posters would contact me i would be willing to inspect any of the pens you speak of....Austin, Seth, Tanner?
lets hear from you....

Seth Trice writes:

Well Mike maybe you and the SPCA and everyone else that opposes fox pens should have came and looked at a fox pen and see what we do before you talk down it. Every single one of the people that supports this bill is just stubborn and typical. The SPCA and all organizations supporting this bill just want money. And all supporters of this bill will listen to anything they say. #MIGHTASWELLKENNELS

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Seth, your friend Austin (as one can see on Twitter) wrote: "anybody opposing this bill how about you come to the pen one night so we can change your mind." Then Mike offered to take y'all up on your invitation. And you ignored that. He'd like to visit Might as Well Kennels, there in Goochland, to see y'all's fox pen. Can he, or can't he?

Seth Trice writes:

I was stating that he was talking down on our sport when he didn't know anything, Waldo must be a stalker

JJ Herndon writes:

If you would have done as much research on the fox preserves as you did on Austins. Twitter account you might know more

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I was stating that he was talking down on our sport when he didn't know anything,

You were knocking him after he tried to take y'all up on your offer to teach him more. That doesn't make any sense.

Waldo must be a stalker

You wrote, weirdly, "#MIGHTASWELLKENNELS" at the end of your comment. I googled it and clicked on the first result. This isn't hard.

If you would have done as much research on the fox preserves as you did on Austins. Twitter account you might know more

How do you have any idea what I know or don't know about fox penning? I haven't said anything in support of or in opposition to this bill.

Alice H writes:

Bill has been passed by indefinitely as of 9:00 am this morning 2-12-13. So for this session it is dead.

Mike writes:

Im a hunter, i have a concealed carry....yet they accuse me of being something i am not.....i made an offer to visit one of these "pens' one took me up on it.....they can only ridicule me......speaks volumes of them....and their position.....

Mary V. writes:

This is not an issue worth arguing about. Fox penning is inhumane, cowardly, and the perpetrators need to find something more intelligent to do with their time. Also, could one of you who is knowledgeable about this practice explain where the foxes come from, how many are put in pens during the course of a year, what kind of assurances are made that foxes who are transported into a county for use in this activity are healthy, i.e. no diseases are brought in that could be passed on to local wildlife? Also, how many foxes are killed per year doing this kind of "sport"? Let's get some facts in here-not just accusations and opinions. If my view of it is so incoherent, give me facts and the source of your facts so that I can make a more educated assessment.

Seth Trice writes:


MAry V. writes:

The previous comment tells me all I need to know. The gentleman cares only about winning, not about educating anyone about the sport he supposedly love so dearly. He also doesn't know how to spell!~Things will change, as Virginia becomes more civilized.

Linda Z. writes:

Fox penning is tantamount to "The Hunger Games" concept. The only difference is that instead of people being hunted, it is the defenseless, injured foxes. When I say injured, this is a direct quote from John Bassler published in The Washington Post on August 11, 2013. "When you trap a fox, it messes their feet up sometimes," he said, referring to the steel-jawed traps used to catch foxes in the wild."
In Seth's post, he calls it "our sport." How pathetic. So the perfectly healthy, blood-thirsty dogs are unleashed to track down and kill foxes whose feet are "messed up"
from steel-jawed traps!! WOW -- what a "sport." Do you also fill up a kiddie pool with fish and use them for target practice? Savage and barbaric hardly come close to characterizing what you people are doing. Shame on you.
Hopefully the legislation will be presented again and justice will prevail. Maybe it's time for a documentary to be filmed of these practices for all the world to see.