Hunt Pen Petition Imagine the pain and suffering of a little red fox or coyote caught in the jagged teeth and unrelenting grip of a steel jaw leg-hold trap. Torn flesh, cut ligaments and crushed bones represent only the beginning of the pain and anguish these animals are about to suffer. A trapper comes along and crams his innocent victim into a small cage, maybe on top of another similarly captured fox orcoyote, often soaked in its own urine and feces. They remain caged for hours - sometimes days, often without food or water, before transported to a fenced enclosure known as a “hunt pen.” The fox and coyotes are often released into the pens without receiving any medical treatment for their injuries. The trapper is paid his bounty and leaves – but more than willing to return to replace soon-to-be sacrificed animals. Commercial pens must be at least 500 acres in size; there is no minimum size requirement for non-commercial hunt pens. The fox and coyotes now belong to the hunt pen owner. Soon they will hear the terrifying sounds of howling hounds as they are relentlessly pursued under the guise of dog training and competition, but often simply for the entertainment of mankind. Packs of dogs are released, sometimes hundreds at a time, to chase down their terrorized victims. Judges often score the hounds for their speed, efficiency, persistence, and aggression - the more aggressive - the higher the score. Escape shelters are required by law and occasionally provide a momentary reprieve for the red fox so it can face the same danger and awaiting death of another day. Coyotes may not benefit from the hiding places when they are similar in size to the trailing dogs. All the fear and stress of the chases eventually comes to an end one day in the tortuous death of being torn apart alive by the vicious dogs - blessed relief albeit through a horrible death. Approximately 150 hunt pens legally operate throughout the state as the practice of hunt penning is permitted by law in North Carolina. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission administers the legislation. Cock fighting and dog fighting, where one animal or bird fights just one opponent, has been outlawed in the state. Yet hunt pens, where one red fox or one coyote may have to try to fight off tens, twenties, or even a couple hundred opponents, is perfectly legal and sanctioned by State Legislators. Truth is some people see absolutely nothing wrong with hunt pens. One avid supporter wrote, “It's one of the few true family sports, I know of, left." He went on to say, "When we have one of those events, we have mothers, fathers, grandparents, children (attend)." Like-minded people garnered enough support to table a North Carolina bill written to outlaw the practice of hunt pens in 2009. If you think the outlawing of hunt pens should be easy and is a no-brainer; think twice. Political forces want the barbaric practice to continue. On June 10, 2010, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) voted to outlaw all fox and coyote hunt pens in the State of Florida. It is time this horrific “sport” stops in our beautiful State of North Carolina. A civilized society should never allow such a cruel and barbaric practice. Will you please sign our petition to OUTLAW HUNT PENS IN NORTH CAROLINA? Will you please share this information with your friends and family by word of mouth, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, or any other avenue available to you? And finally will you please contact our Governor, State Legislators, and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and ask them to please do whatever is necessary to stop this brutal practice of hunt pens? See the contact information below and PLEASE let your voices be heard. We can make a difference when enough people unite. Thank you for your assistance and for helping make this a better world for all.
Coyote and Fox are caught in steel-jaw, leg-hold traps which, in itself, cause severe injuries to their feet or legs and some have been caught in snares. They are then transported and sold to the owners of hunt pens. During a competition, the fox & coyote, most likely injured from the trap, are released into the fenced-in area where there is no escape. Field Trail Events allow packs of dogs, if not “hundreds” (a quote from a staff member of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission) of dogs are then released into the hunt pen where they chase down the fox or coyote, tearing it apart. There are people within the hunt pen that judge the performance of each pack of dogs. This is legal in NC, and we want this heinous, barbaric blood “sport” banned, as is, dog fighting and cock fighting in the US. In those 2 illegal activities, it is one on one. In hunt pens it is, again, packs of dogs after a coyote or fox.