My understanding of the bill is that it makes fox hunting (chasing) in a pen illegal.
It is in the process of making its way through the VA General Assembly to become law.
This is an opportunity to call your Senator and Representative to say what you feel on the matter.
I understand that many mounted foxhunters are not too thrilled about "fox penning". I also hope that most mounted foxhunters understand that this is the first nail in the coffin. And that even if they don't like the pens, if they want to keep their sport, they need to support hunting with hounds PERIOD.
Another question: Fox pens are already regulated through the VADGIF. These are people that are well versed in wildlife, habitat, hunting, conservation.....they are the people best able to determine how to regulate and whether this should be lawful or not. Is it right for the GA to go over the heads of those at VADGIF and make laws about things they don't completely understand? (and yes I know this is not the circumstance in which the government is inept, I guess just more of a rant!!)
It's time for me to go to the barn, clean my grey pony, and head out hunting.
The foxes are in preserves that are hundreds of acres. They have dens and other places to go to ground. Hounds compete for picking up the scent and other skills. People are on foot and have a breakfast. The foxes are kept fed, vaccinated, and safe from cars and rifles.
From my limited research after seeing this thread yesterday. I don't know anything about it firsthand or have an opinion. But it does seem like one of those easy things for animal rights groups to check off while strengthening their political connections and establishing their credibility.
\"Non-violence never solved anything.\" C. Montgomery Burns
The bill in VA was introduced by anti-hunters to make any kind of competition in the pen illegal and to limit the # of dogs to 5 per acre (kind of absurd considering pens are hundreds of acres!)
The competitions are NOT about killing anything, just to see what hounds follow the scent best, have best voices, etc. Foxes have plenty of escape and are pretty darn smart. The pens are already regulated, by the way.
Mounted foxhunters may or may not believe in pens for training, but everyone should realize that the anti-hunters are going to keep at it until there is no hunting with hounds AT ALL, then no hunting AT ALL.
I have never seen hounds catch one in a pen (not to say it couldn't happen, but it's definitely not the norm nor is it the goal). None of the anti-hunters probably has either, they just like to spin a gory yarn and make a lot of assumptions.
Ironically, the most dead foxes I have ever seen are on my drives up to Northern VA, smooshed on the road. Probably half of them were killed by people who want to close fox pens. ;-)
If anyone ever wants to come to a fox pen to see for yourself, let me know, there is one just up the road from me. It's @400 acres, with lots of trees, briary coverts and plenty of fox feeders and fox boxes where they can hide.
PS From what I understand the bill was defeated (at least for now) this morning.
By the way, I am pretty sure "fox penning" is a term coined by the anti-hunters. I have never heard anyone call it that until they got involved. Sheesh.
Meanwhile, totally agree with JAWA on this!
<<I also hope that most mounted foxhunters understand that this is the first nail in the coffin. And that even if they don't like the pens, if they want to keep their sport, they need to support hunting with hounds PERIOD.>>
I could not agree more that any bill going after hunting with hounds must be taken as a very serious threat to foxhunting. Foxhunters, and those of us living in the country are unfortunately in the minority and have an ongoing battle to fight! The bill was defeated (at least for this session) this morning in the subcommittee meeting. When I called to speak to delegates yesterday I was told they had gotten a tremendous amount of calls in opposition to the bill, so kudos to all those out there who called!