Fox-hunting pens shut down

Six fox-hunting pens have been shut down in Virginia following a two-year investigation by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s office.

Nine people pleaded guilty to a range of charges, mostly misdemeanors but also a few felonies.

“Fox penning can become unlawful when operators put illegal foxes and coyotes into a fenced-in area and allow dogs to chase – and sometimes kill – the wild animals,” Herring’s office said. “The practice also has been known to deviate from training of hunting dogs to include gambling and competitions to see whose dog can catch the confined fox.”

Sarah Rankin at the Associated Press reported that the pens that lost licenses are among the first to be revoked since the passage of a 2014 law intended to phase out the controversial practice. The law grandfathered existing operations, though they will have to close by 2054.

The pens that lost their permits are in Buckingham, Lunenburg, Appomattox, Dinwiddie, King and Queen, and Brunswick.

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Robert Zullo
Robert has been winning and losing awards as a reporter and editor for 13 years at weekly and daily newspapers, beginning at Worrall Community Newspapers in Union, N.J., where he was a staff writer and managing editor. He spent five years in south Louisiana covering hurricanes, oil spills and Good Friday crawfish boils as a reporter and city editor for the The Courier and the Daily Comet newspapers in Houma and Thibodaux. He covered Richmond city hall for the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2012 to 2013 and worked as a general assignment and city hall reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 2013 to 2016. He returned to Richmond in 2016 to cover energy, environment and transportation for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He grew up in Miami, Fla., and central New Jersey. A former waiter, armored car guard and appliance deliveryman, he is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. Contact him at [email protected]