Calling the practice inhumane and barbaric, three animal rights groups filed suit against the Indiana Department of Natural Resources in protest of penning.If you’re unfamiliar with penning, it often involves foxes and coyotes – they are thrown into fenced enclosures with numerous dogs and left to defend themselves.
Supporters of penning claim the practice is necessary to maintain conditioning in hunting dogs during the off season, and that the bait animals used stand a fair chance. Jeff Altman with the Animal Defense Fund disagrees. In an interview with 6News he said, “The pen operators will tell you the coyotes and foxes have the ability to get out and get away from the dogs, but in practice, they don’t. Oftentimes, they are ripped to shreds by the dogs. ”
The Animal Legal Defense Fund, Project Coyote and the Animal Welfare Institute requested that a judge shut down the state’s last known pen in Greene County. Lawrence Reuben represents the animal rights groups. “It is very important that we stop this,” he said. “It is critically important to the animals themselves, but also to the administration of state law.”
Want to weigh in on the matter? Comments will be accepted on the DNR’s website until May 18.