Posted by: stiltsville | November 19, 2009

FWC arrests 12 for illegal purchase, possession of foxes and coyotes

At the conclusion of a 10-month undercover investigation Tuesday night, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) arrested 12 people for the illegal purchase and possession of live foxes and coyotes, and the unpermitted use of these animals in fenced enclosures for the purpose of allowing dogs to pursue them. In addition to undercover work, the investigation involved aerial surveillance as the suspects moved from county to county, transporting the animals to enclosures.

Permits are required to possess these animals, and it is unlawful to purchase foxes or coyotes from an unlicensed person. In addition, the enclosures must be permitted and meet state requirements. Large fenced enclosures, often several hundred acres, have been established and permitted on private lands to provide areas where dogs can chase foxes and coyotes without crossing landowner boundaries and creating trespass situations.  The owners of these enclosures typically charge patrons a fee to allow their dogs to track the animals inside the fenced enclosures.

During the investigation, FWC officers posed as suppliers of foxes and coyotes that were illegally possessed and sold the animals to the suspects. The undercover officers told the suspects that they did not have the proper permits to sell the animals.

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