Keeping a fox as a pet may be a dream for many people. We explain to you the reasons why this is animal cruelty for the fox.
Fox as a pet: This is the legal situation
It is forbidden under the Nature Conservation and Landscape Management Act to capture a wild animal in the forest and keep it as a pet. You will face a heavy fine if you take a fox out of its natural habitat and bring it into your home. The red fox is a protected species. If you find an injured fox in your garden, call the veterinary office.
The Animal Welfare Act also states that you may only keep an animal at home if you can feed, care for and house it appropriately. Keeping animals in a manner appropriate to their species also includes sufficient exercise.
Fox as a pet: That is why it is cruelty to animals
Should you now keep a fox as a pet? Already the legal situation clearly states: A fox is a wild animal and should not be kept as a pet. We show you why not only the legal situation suggests that it is animal cruelty:
Foxes need a large outdoor enclosure: A fox needs a lot of exercise and movement. An appropriate outdoor enclosure would need to be at least 30 square meters per pair, according to the Wildlife Enclosure Association. The enclosure would have to be about three meters high so that the fox cannot escape. It must also include a sleeping box for the animal.
You cannot lead foxes on a leash: You can’t just put a fox on a leash like a dog and take it for a walk. Foxes are wild animals and are used to being able to move freely. On a leash, they would become stressed and fearful.
No animal-worthy conditions on breeding farms: It is not possible to bring a fox from the wild into your own home. However, there are special breeding farms that breed foxes and give them to private households. The conditions under which the foxes live with these breeders are anything but species-appropriate. Some of the animals are kept in small cages in which they can hardly move. You should not support this form of animal husbandry.
Education of foxes is difficult: Foxes are shy animals that rarely show themselves to humans. Unlike a dog, a fox cannot be taught commands or tricks. Foxes also generally do not want to be cuddled. These factors make it difficult to build a relationship with a fox.
Overall, we don’t recommend keeping a fox as a pet. It is not only forbidden by law, but also cruelty to animals, since you can hardly offer the wild animal a species-appropriate attitude. If you still don’t want to do without a pet and can provide a species-appropriate life for a dog or cat, for example, then adopt them from the animal shelter.
In this way, you may be able to help an animal out of an emergency situation. It is particularly worthwhile if you support an animal welfare organization that is committed to animal rights and species protection.