The Indiana Natural Resources Commission (INRC) is considering a proposed rule to legalize the practice of coyote/fox “penning” (penning involves sending packs of domestic dogs into a fenced-off enclosure to chase to exhaustion and often tear apart a captive coyote or fox- ostensibly to “train” hunting hounds how to better pursue and hunt coyotes and foxes in the wild).
Just last year, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted unanimously to PERMANENTLY ban coyote and fox pens statewide. Contributing to the decision were public pressure, media exposure, and a multi-state undercover investigation of penning operations which led to the arrest of 12 people and the issuance of 46 citations for various violations. The investigation showed how difficult- if not impossible- it is to enforce rules on a practice that is inherently fraught with illicit and unethical behavior.
To our horror, after proposing rules to outlaw the practice last year, the INRC did a 180 degree reversal and is now proposing to legalize coyote/fox penning. This switch in position is a direct result of pressure from the NRA and pro-penning organizations. Now more than ever, we need your help to stop the INRC from legalizing this blood “sport”. Your voice matters; we need to remind the INRC of how it came to its humane, judicious decision last year!
PLEASE SUBMIT COMMENTS DIRECTLY TO THE INRC VIA THEIR WEBSITE PRIOR TO MAY 18th
Comments can be submitted directly at: http://www.in.gov/nrc/2377.htm (Sample letter below)
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 the notion of fair chase.
Like the rest of the nation, Indiana has banned dog fighting and cock fighting. Coyote and fox penning is akin to dog and cock fighting and for this reason alone should be banned.
The inherent cruelty associated with fox and coyote penning cannot be regulated. Creating regulations would require enforcement. Enforcement is not the best use of State of Indiana resources, particularly in these difficult economic times.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has acknowledged that there are ecological, ethical, disease and health related issues associated with penning.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission unanimously voted to prohibit coyote and fox penning in Florida 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 permanently ban this practice. I strongly oppose coyote and fox pens. I respectfully ask that you stop this horrific and cruel practice.