Domestic animal definition: red fox
DGIF regulation section 4VAC15-20-50 currently defines certain color phases of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) as "domestic animals", a provision originally intended to reduce the need for issuing wildlife propagation permits to fur farmers raising non-natural color phases of domesticated foxes. An unintended consequence of this provision is the legal ownership of red foxes as pets. Allowing the public to keep red foxes as pets is inconsistent with other regulations regarding pet ownership of native wildlife species and an unnecessary rabies health risk to the general public.
Staff is considering the following to address this issue:
- Remove the reference to red foxes in the definition of domestic animals and provide a grandfather clause that allows individuals who already own pet foxes to keep them until the foxes die.
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