These things are not part of Virginia fox hunting history.
We didn't need them in 1800, 1850, 1900, 1950, and we don't need them now when we have more fox in the state than ever before.
As soon as these fox pens are legislated out of business, the happier I will be, as they give a black eye to hunting with dogs in general, and hunting with hounds in particular.
Fox pens are for people who are more interested in contest hunting than real hunting. And as for contest hunting, I have said my piece about that too.
I could not put the facts of the matter better than it was on the pages of The Richmond Times Dispatch:
No one knows how many foxes are killed each year. The pens are big — 100 acres minimum — and full of brush, so the kills aren't often witnessed. But Virginia's pens are stocked with about 900 to 1,300 new foxes each year.
"The operators say, 'We chase them but we don't kill them.' If that's the case, how come they have to keep adding so many?" said Ed Clark, president of the Wildlife Center of Virginia, an animal hospital in Waynesboro. "If Pinocchio said that, he'd put out somebody's eye."
Fox pens operators, of course, say they are simply replacing fox that die natural deaths. And for some fox, this is no doubt true. But let's not kid ourselves that this is fair chase or part of Virginia's fox hunting history.
These big pens were invented in the 1980s, and they have been a public relations problem from Day One. It's more than time to kick them to the curb.