The Indiana Natural Resources Commission (INRC) is considering a proposed rule to legalize the practice of coyote/fox "penning" year-round.Penning involves capturing wild coyotes and foxes and then placing them in pens where they are mercilessly chased by packs of hunting dogs. This practice often leads to the coyote or fox being torn apart alive by the dogs. Penning enthusiasts claim the activity trains the dogs to better pursue and hunt foxes and coyotes in the wild.
In contrast, last year, INRC’s counterpart in Florida voted unanimously to permanently ban coyote and fox pens statewide. Contributing to this decision was a combination of public outrage, heightened media exposure, and a multi-state undercover investigation of penning operations which led to the arrest of a dozen people and the issuance of more than forty citations for various violations.
After proposing rules to outlaw this abhorrent practice last year, the INRC reversed itself and is now proposing to legalize coyote/fox penning. Indications are that this switch in position was a result of pressure from pro-gun and pro-penning organizations.
Please send your letter to Governor Mitch Daniels and urge him to prohibit the practice of coyote/fox penning statewide
I am appalled to learn that the State of Indiana is considering legalizing coyote and fox penning year-round, where coyotes and foxes are placed in fenced enclosures and packs of dogs chase them in competition. Evidence shows that many of these wild canines are mauled and killed by their domestic cousins.
In essence, Indiana is considering sanctioning an activity where animals can be torn apart as "live bait" in canned-hunting-like operations. This is reprehensible and contravenes any notion of fair chase.
Like the rest of the nation, Indiana has banned dogfighting and cockfighting. Coyote and fox penning is akin to both activities and for this reason alone should be banned.
The inherent cruelty associated with fox and coyote penning cannot be remedied through regulation. Creating new rules would require enforcement, and enforcing abhorrent activities of this type is not an appropriate use of state resources in the best of times, and certainly not during these hard economic times.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has acknowledged that there is ecological, ethical, disease, and health related issues, associated with penning; and Florida unanimously voted to prohibit this type of penning last year. Indiana should do the same.
I urge you to reject the proposal to legalize coyote and fox penning and instead adopt rules to ban this practice. I strongly oppose coyote and fox pens, and respectfully ask that you stop this horrific and cruel practice.
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