Action Alert


Your Comments Are Needed by May 18th

As you may recall from our previous action alerts, 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!

The proposed rule language and frequently asked questions and answers can be found at:Dog Training Rules

The INRC will conduct two public hearings on proposed rule changes. If you’re an Indiana resident, we encourage you to attend and testify:

  • Tuesday, May 10 (6 p.m. EDT) at McCormick’s Creek State Park, Canyon Inn, Sycamore Room, Spencer (Owen County).
  • Wednesday, May 11 (6 p.m. EDT) at Webster Recreation Center, Plymouth Park and Recreation Department, 110 Webster Ave., Plymouth (Marshall County).

Written comments are due May 18, so please take a moment to submit a quick online comment today! You need not be an Indiana resident to submit comments since all input will be part of the official record, and we need to show strong support for a ban.

To sumbit a comment go online.

  • Please go to: http://www.in.gov/nrc/2377.htm
  • Scroll down and find the Coyote/Fox Dog Training Grounds
  • Click on Comment on this rule
  • Enter the required information in the boxes provided
  • Express your concerns about this issue and that the inherent cruelty and abuse associated with coyote/fox penning simply cannot be regulated through rule (see suggested talking points below)
You may also submit a comment via U.S. mail:
Indiana NRC - Division of Hearings
Indiana Government Center North
100 North Senate Avenue, Room N501
Indianapolis, IN 46204

SAMPLE LETTER (please personalize your letter and use your own words as this will have a much greater impact; if you send your letter by mail, be sure to include the rule number, “LSA #11-4- proposed rule to amend 312 IAC 9-10-7” and your full name and address for your comments to be counted in the official record):

Indiana NRC - Division of Hearings
Indiana Government Center North
100 North Senate Avenue, Room N501
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Re: LSA #11-4- proposed rule to amend 312 IAC 9-10-7 regarding coyote/fox penning

Dear Commissioners,

I am appalled to learn that the State of Indiana is considering legalizing coyote and fox penning where coyotes and foxes are placed in fenced enclosures and packs of dogs chase them in competition. Many of these wild canines are mauled and killed by their domestic cousins.

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.

Your full name
Mailing address
City, State, Zip

Please also contact (or cc your letter to) Governor Mitch Daniels and urge him to prohibit the practice of coyote/fox penning statewide:

The Honorable Governor Mitch Daniels
Office of the Governor
Indianapolis, Indiana, IN 46204-2797
Email the Governor


Camilla H. Fox
Executive Director


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