Hunters and animal rights group clash over foxes

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A showdown between hunters and animal rights activists will take place on Thursday morning in Richmond.

The debate is over how you catch foxes in Virginia. Some people call it a cruel sport, and others say it's one of the better way to train hounds.

Fox penning is the issue. This is where wild foxes are trapped, placed in pens, and hunted by dogs.

Opponents want the pens phased out, and hope the meeting will accomplish that.

Thousands of foxes are trapped each year. The pens are wooded, and by state law must be at least 100 acres with places for the foxes to hide.

Opponents say this practice is bloody and barbaric. They say the foxes are maimed and killed so the dogs can be judged on their ability to pursue the animals.

Pen owners say the practice is humane and legal. They say this is a safe way to train dogs so they don't run out into roads or other people's property.

Both sides are expected to be at a meeting at the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

The meeting is at 9 a.m.

Legislators say the issue will be brought up to the General Assembly if it is not resolved at the meeting.

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