What kind of pets do foxes make


Can you keep a fox as a pet?

Foxes are fascinating, intelligent, social, and beautiful animals. Nowadays you can find plenty of photos and videos of clumsy, cute fox pups on the Internet. Whoever has a heart can hardly resist this sight. Similar photos can also be found of adult foxes, because foxes are increasingly being presented as tame, exotic pets on social networks. They are shown together with their "owners" in the apartment, cuddle and play, throw themselves submissively on their backs and have their tummies scratched, make funny noises, go for a walk on a leash or even use the litter box! That brings a lot of clicks and likes. It is easy to get the impression that it is easy to keep foxes in the apartment like dogs or cats. There are even people who go out in public with “their” tame foxes, travel across the country, visit schools and TV shows, or regularly market their foxes for photo shoots.

Many fox friends do not think anything negative about such pictures and are even happy about them, because they convey a positive image of foxes. Unfortunately, this inevitably gives a completely wrong impression of foxes and their species-appropriate keeping. The warnings of some fox keepers that keeping foxes is associated with great demands and challenges appear exaggerated and implausible when looking at the selected positive pictures. But the warnings are more than justified: in the end, many people end up with a wrong image of foxes and the thoughtless wish to bring such a fox home as a pet. This has resulted in a dangerous trend in recent years, which has now reached Germany and ensures that more and more foxes suffer in an unsuitable manner or are raised to be "problem foxes".

Without these rose-colored glasses, it should be clear to real animal lovers that the breeding and keeping of foxes in the vast majority of cases does not serve the foxes, but the people. (An exception would be the breeding of an endangered fox species for the purpose of species conservation.) Foxes are of course not cuddly toys and usually keeping foxes is not appropriate to the species and therefore questionable from an animal welfare point of view. There are so many dogs, cats, and other pets who sit in shelters and long for a home with a loving person. If you're looking for a pet, you'd better get a dog out of a kennel than put a fox in one! That would be sensible and appropriate to animal welfare.

From my point of view, however, there is a scenario in which a lifelong accommodation of a fox in captivity can be in the sense of animal welfare, namely if it is a rescued fox from animal welfare, which for whatever reasons is not capable of being released into the wild. I will come back to this at the end of the text. First of all, I would like to briefly address the demands and challenges associated with keeping foxes and why I fundamentally reject the breeding and keeping of foxes as "pets".

Breeding foxes

Most of the foxes that are usually presented on the Internet as supposed "pets" are breeding foxes. That means these foxes were bred to sell to people who think they absolutely have to have a fox as a pet. Without the demand from these supposed fox lovers, there would be neither these breeders nor these foxes. But there is a demand, even a real market, for breeding foxes and unfortunately this market is growing. So there is also an offer from breeders and the foxes inevitably become a commodity. In the meantime, for example, there are breeders and keepers of such foxes in the USA, Russia and Europe.

Where do these breeding foxes come from and what distinguishes them from their wild counterparts?

Even if wild foxes have been seeking closeness to people for many centuries in order to benefit from their lavish way of life, they have always retained their independence and their wild character. Today's breeding foxes have their roots in the fur industry. Red and arctic foxes in particular were increasingly systematically bred in fur farms in the course of industrialization, while the proportion of furs from hunting and trapping fell significantly. Over the years, countless foxes have been forcibly reproduced and killed in such fur farms in confined spaces under unsuitable conditions. First of all, emphasis was placed on the “fur product”. In addition to the color variants that also occur in nature (such as red fox, cross fox, silver fox, white fox, blue fox), new color variants and mutations have also emerged during breeding, such as B. Platinum Fox, Pastel Fox, Arctic Marble, Smokey, Red Amber, Red Platina, Fawn Light, Golden Island Shadow, Fire & Ice and many more.

Fur breeders see themselves as agricultural livestock keepers. As a side effect of fur farming, the animals have gradually adapted to their sad life in captivity and the closeness to humans, similar to other once wild animal species that have lost many of their wild characteristics as part of the breeding for use as "farm animals" (e.g. horses, cattle, goats and pigs). In the case of fur production, it has simply proven to be economically viable if the animals were not very shy, had less stress and did not hurt themselves - or their fur - in their panic when attempting to break out and showed less aggression towards the workers. Less stress also meant that the animals were less prone to disease. This increased the yield, made the job and the killing easier, because tame foxes could be locked up in the smallest of spaces, handled and finally killed without much resistance. For this reason, foxes with more good-natured character traits have been preferred in the context of fur farming. Offspring of these farm foxes are used to interaction and communication with humans to a certain extent, but these foxes cannot be compared to domesticated animals such as dogs. They were bred in small cages outdoors without constant human contact, had to spend their lives on wire grids and of course also do their business there ... They still have a lot of their original, wild character in them, have diverse needs and are not comparable to dogs, which have been domesticated over centuries in apartments and through the direct proximity to humans. At the same time, however, the living conditions and breeding have dampened some of their wild instincts and behaviors to such an extent that survival in the wild would be impossible or at least difficult for farm foxes. Both physical and psychological changes have been documented in farmed foxes, which is why they can no longer be considered normal wild animals. The physical changes (e.g. shorter legs, changed head shape and misaligned teeth) are not beneficial to these foxes. In order to increase the yield of fur per fox, so-called “super foxes” were bred by Finnish fur farmers. The result of this torture breeding are foxes which, through skin folds all over their bodies, provide about twice as much fur as normal foxes and therefore have to suffer from severe mobility restrictions and pain. Many a fox keeper finds the mutations and peculiarities that have already arisen in fox breeding worth protecting and sticks to the system with the argument that these new "subspecies" cannot simply be made extinct by banning the breeding and keeping of foxes. But although these misbred farm animals are of course worth protecting as individuals in the sense of animal protection as long as they are alive, I do not consider these artificially bred mutations, which do not occur in nature, to be protected as a "subspecies". On the contrary, I would be happy if no “super foxes” were allowed to be bred in the future.

Since around the 1970s there have been concrete efforts to domesticate foxes and to breed them specifically as pets. A “research project” in Novosibirsk, Russia, has become known in this context. There foxes are bred under similar dire conditions as in fur farms, and there they have to spend their lives in cramped cages on wire grids. However, the foxes are not bred here (primarily) for their fur. The research project allegedly tries to simulate the domestication of the wolf in fast motion on the fox and selects the foxes there based on their behavior towards people. While the change in the character of the fox was a side effect in fur farming, in this project the change in the fur and other body features occurs as a side effect of the selection according to character traits. Foxes are also sold there as pets. In the meantime, however, foxes are also bred by private breeders outside of fur farms in order to sell them as supposed pets.

As a true animal lover, one shouldn't support such developments. Anyone who has doubts as to whether breeding foxes can be appropriate to animal welfare should simply ask the following question: Do these foxes want that? The answer is clear: no, these foxes don't want that. They do not want to be kept in small cages by breeders for generations, checked, selected and forcibly mated, repeatedly exposed to unpleasant situations, closeness to people and inappropriate husbandry, in order to slowly adapt them to the breeders' ideas. They do not want to be taken away from their mothers when they are only a few weeks old puppies, so that they do not bond with their families or their conspecifics but with people and become "tame". Foxes do not domesticate themselves voluntarily, but are forced to do so within the framework of breeding and this cannot be achieved without suppressing these once wild animal species for generations.

So why would you want to encourage this suffering by asking and keeping a fox as a pet, if not for purely selfish reasons? Because you think that's "chic"? Because you think that's "exotic"? Because you "want" it? For an animal lover, these cannot be reasons or justifications for breeding an animal species over many decades until it finally does justice to the idea of ​​a “pet”.

The argument of many fox keepers that these foxes have a much better, happier life as pets than on fur farms is nothing but eyewash and self-deception. The argument that a life as a pet is better than being shot by the hunter in the wild cannot hold up either. After all, these animals are now bred especially for sale as pets and without demand they would not even exist. Anyone who buys such a fox does not save it from death as a fur animal or from death by a hunter. The foxes that live and die on fur farms still exist and farm foxes cannot and must not be released into the wild anyway. Even if you buy or “save” a fox from a fur farm, this individual will survive, but this supports the system: the operator of the fur farm will then just breed a few more foxes next time to sell them as pets. That doesn't solve the real problem, it just makes it worse. Fur farming and the breeding of foxes are completely forbidden. We do not have the right to decide about the life of these animals, while some alleged fox friends obviously confuse animal love with possession. But we have the opportunity to stand up against the fur industry, hunting, torture breeding, poor husbandry and for the well-being of the foxes.

With the already existing great suffering and abundance of actually domesticated animals and the already great challenges in animal welfare, one cannot also breed “exotic pets” in order to satisfy a selfish need of a certain group of people. The shelters are already overflowing with dogs, cats and other pets that have been neglected / abused by their overwhelmed owners and finally thrown away. And the requirements for keeping foxes are many times more complicated and demanding, as I will explain in the following section.

Requirements for keeping tame foxes

Breeding foxes are no longer real wild animals, but they are far from being pets either. In terms of their roots, they are more comparable to farm animals than to domestic animals. Locking a breeding fox in an apartment would be like keeping a goat or a pig in the house and that is of course not appropriate to the species. If you make yourself aware of this fact, you get a slight premonition of what life with a fox would be like.

To describe and explain the behavior and needs of foxes, one would have to write an entire book. For species-appropriate keeping you should have a lot of knowledge about foxes, meet many conditions and be prepared for great challenges. I would now like to make a few comments and examples here:

  • Housing: A lot of space is needed to keep foxes in a species-appropriate manner. A spacious, natural-looking outdoor enclosure with escape-proof fencing (overhang and undermining protection) is required in any case. According to the “Report on Minimum Requirements for Mammalian Keeping” by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, an area of ​​at least 300 square meters is recommended for animal welfare to keep foxes in a species-appropriate manner. Keeping an area of ​​less than 60 square meters is considered unacceptable [1] Apart from the pure area, the nature of the enclosure and the type of maintenance (intensive or extensive) must of course also be taken into account.
    However, the declaration of farmed foxes as allegedly domesticated animals nullifies this recommendation. However, keeping foxes in their homes is by no means appropriate for breeding foxes, at least that is what most breeding fox keepers agree on. Foxes, for example, need a place to dig. In winter, keeping in a heated apartment would be torture for a fox with its thick winter fur.
    An approximately species-appropriate keeping of a fox cannot be realized in an apartment and cannot be agreed with a tenancy (next to other living parties in a house). Your own house with a large outdoor enclosure in the garden would therefore be the minimum requirement. In order to avoid conflicts and anger, the immediate neighbors should agree to keeping foxes, as a fox will inevitably cause a strong smell on the property.
  • Occupation: Breeding foxes also have a great urge to move around and a certain thirst for freedom. They may be comparable to hyperactive, completely naughty, young dogs who never grow up and don't care about what people want them to do. Foxes are intelligent, nimble, skillful, curious, have a strong will and know no taboos. They fit through loopholes only 8-10cm in size, stick their noses in everywhere and try everything out. They can dig well, climb high, jump high and far, and swim well. Nothing is safe from them. They learn to open doors, climb shelves and crawl into every crack. If you want something, you keep looking for a way until you find it. In doing so, they take no account of material losses and may even gain access to areas where they are not wanted. Foxes do not accept no and can hardly be educated. Keeping foxes therefore requires a lot of knowledge, understanding, space, time, attention, money and tolerance. Foxes in captivity need a lot of activity - both physically and mentally. Foxes are also very social animals that need contact with conspecifics and should therefore not be kept individually. Humans, dogs, cats or other animals are no substitute for a conspecific as a full social partner.
  • Destructive behavior: Breeding foxes are relatively good-natured, but still quite destructive. They bite into toys, shoes, books and furniture, shred curtains, scratch the floor, walls and doors, tear the wallpaper from the walls, dig at the edges of carpets, knock over objects, bite into cables and tear them out of the wall, they devastate the whole apartment and gnaw their way through dry walls if they want. With a fox nearby, you can't leave anything important lying around and you have to be careful all the time. A fox always does what he thinks is right and necessary at the moment, regardless of whether the person thinks it is good or not. In contrast to dogs, a fox shows no sense of guilt if it breaks something, has marked or urinated on something important or valuable.
  • Aggressive behavior: Not every breeding fox becomes or remains tame. Sometimes the foxes become unbalanced and can bite in the wrong hands. In general, foxes are relatively jealous of food. If you get too close to their food, they can snap shut. The same applies to everything that they find interesting and misuse as toys or whatever they claim - for whatever reason. Foxes need their space and retreat. If they are harassed, they can defend themselves. This has to be respected and special caution applies when foxes are confronted with unfamiliar visitors or even pushy, noisy children.
    It takes a long time to gain a fox's trust, but if you misbehave, scare a fox, or behave threateningly or aggressively towards him, you can destroy the relationship of trust forever. Therefore, keeping foxes requires a lot of love, knowledge, tolerance, self-control, serenity and patience.
  • Diet: A varied, healthy and species-appropriate diet for foxes is complex and expensive. In addition to high-quality wet and dry food for dogs and cats as a basis, foxes need, for example, fruit and whole prey (e.g. day-old chicks, which can be bought frozen in pet shops).
    Foxes instinctively hide excess food for "bad times". Breeding foxes have also retained this instinct and therefore even hide wet food, leftover meat or day-old chicks wherever it appears possible. If foxes are kept in the apartment, you can find food for example in the sofa, in bed, under the pillow, behind the closet or in the laundry.
  • Hygiene: Even breeding foxes are not completely house trained. Sometimes it is possible to get them used to a litter box or to train them to do their business outdoors, but often these attempts fail completely. With arctic foxes, the success rate is supposedly only 10%, with red foxes the success rate is said to be slightly higher (source: The Pet Fox, by Gloria White). You then have to live with a fox that leaves urine and feces everywhere. Even if a breeding fox does its main business in a litter box or outside, it regularly marks its territory in prominent places. Foxes sometimes mark several hundred times a day. In an apartment you will find feces, urine or markings in the bed, in the food bowl, on the kitchen table, in the sink, in the bathtub, on the refrigerator, just anywhere. The smell of fox excrement, urine and anal gland secretion is intense and long-lasting, so that everything in a house soon smells of "fox". It takes a lot of effort to keep everything clean and there is no real means of getting rid of the odor. The smell that red foxes cause is said to be more intense than that of arctic foxes. In addition, foxes shed very heavily for many months.
  • Noise pollution: Foxes can be very communicative and loud in general or at least at certain times of the year. They can also be active at night and keep people awake through noise and vocalizations. This can be incompatible with the normal human daily rhythm and work life and can also lead to trouble with the neighbors.
  • Shyness and stress: Foxes only develop close relationships, if at all, with their immediate caregivers. As a rule, they do not become trusting towards strangers, but remain fearful and shy. Changes in their habitat worry them, making them cautious and fearful. One speaks here of neophobia, the fear of new things.
    Therefore, visitors to the property or in the enclosure mean stress for a fox every time. In such situations, foxes hide when possible. If they are pressured too much and have no place to escape or hide, they can also react defensively and aggressively.
    Some fox keepers take foxes with them everywhere and thus constantly expose them to the stress of new impressions, strangers and - from the fox's point of view, possibly dangerous - animals. Exposing foxes to the stress of large crowds, TV shows, schools, kindergartens or photo shoots, or even traveling with them, is a great imposition for a fox and highly questionable from an animal welfare point of view. If you are familiar with the behavior of foxes, you will usually see clear signs of stress and fear in such foxes, e.g. B. Wide open eyes, great tension and attention. A slightly open mouth with a curled up tongue, retracted lips, panting and a fast heartbeat are often particularly clear signs of stress in a fox.
  • Responsibility: If you want to give a fox a home, you enter into an obligation for up to 15 years during which you have to look after the fox every day. Since keeping and caring for foxes appropriately requires a lot of expertise, time and effort, you cannot leave a fox in someone else's hands for 1-2 weeks to go on vacation. Care by strangers on site is usually difficult because a fox is usually too shy of strangers. Therefore, vacationing is out of the question and you have to make sure that the costly care of the fox is ensured even in the event of illness. To leave a fox in someone else's home when you are overwhelmed with it or no longer want it is almost impossible. There are practically no places (including wildlife parks, sanctuaries or animal shelters) that can accommodate such foxes.
    Responsible husbandry also includes professional care by an experienced veterinarian. These include B. Vaccinations and deworming treatments. Unfortunately, there are hardly any veterinarians with fox experience and almost all drugs and vaccines that are standardly used in foxes are actually not made for foxes and have no official approval for this use. Therefore, when treating foxes, one is always dependent on the experience and the discretion and knowledge of the veterinarian.
  • Legal situation: There are strict requirements and, if necessary, controls by the veterinary office for the temporary keeping of feral foxes until they are released into the wild or the keeping of wild foxes that cannot be released into the wild. In addition to the Animal Welfare Act, the Hunting Act must also be observed. Unfortunately, there are hardly any legal requirements in Germany for breeding foxes that are offered and purchased as “pets”, so that in case of doubt, one should orientate oneself to the requirements for wild animals for the benefit of the animals.

Every fox is different and there may be exceptions, but if you are toying with the idea of ​​taking in a fox, you should expect the worst on all of the above.

Unfortunately, in the vast majority of cases, keeping foxes does not meet the requirements, which leads to problems and grievances.

Problems and grievances in keeping foxes

There may be responsible fox keepers who can guarantee an approximately appropriate accommodation and let a fox be a fox. If such people take care of a fox from animal welfare in order to save it from death or from an inappropriate attitude, one can definitely endorse that. Unfortunately, this is an extremely rare exception. Most of the time, the conditions for species-appropriate keeping are not nearly fulfilled and the grievances already begin with the breeding of foxes:

Since even breeding foxes do not automatically develop a bond with people and are not necessarily tame towards people, it is common practice to snatch the puppies of such breeding foxes from their mothers far too early - namely at around three weeks old - and sell them individually. The buyers then have to take over the further rearing of the puppy by hand, because foxes are not completely weaned until they are around 7 weeks old. In this way, the fox should develop the greatest possible bond with its new "owner". This cruel approach is even recommended by fox breeders and in the literature by fox breeding advocates, without considering the enormous psychological stress this practice puts on the puppies and their parents. It is also recommended to raise these young puppies all by themselves without contact with conspecifics, so that these social animals only get to know people as caregivers in their loneliness. This example makes it particularly clear that such people cannot be concerned with the welfare of animals, but only with satisfying an egoistic need and shaping an animal against its nature and its will according to its own ideas.

Raising a fox puppy by hand takes a lot of time, expertise and experience. Errors in rearing quickly lead to the death of a fox pup.

In practice, the recommendations for keeping foxes are often not implemented. Foxes are forced into a purely residential position, where they are locked in small rooms or tiny kennels, in the bathroom or cellar and have to vegetate to themselves. An outdoor enclosure is essential, especially for arctic foxes, because the animals with their thick fur suffer from the warmth in the apartment in winter. A well-known German fox keeper claims to travel around with "his" female vixen in a caravan ...

Often the owners are simply overwhelmed by the high demands and the uncontrolled, wild behavior of foxes. It is therefore common practice for many fox keepers to lock the foxes in small cages or kennels overnight or as a punishment (“as an educational measure”). This measure is the result of excessive demands on the keeper and has nothing to do with keeping or upbringing the animals appropriately.

At the latest when a hormonal change takes place in a fox at the age of about 7-8 months (often in October), so that it tends to be more nervous and defensive for a few months, the keeping becomes even more demanding and the fox less controllable. In the meantime, the fox may no longer appear as cute, interesting and lovable to the owner as it did as a puppy, so that an attempt may be made to give up or get rid of the animal.

As already mentioned, the behavior of foxes is often misinterpreted due to a lack of knowledge. Signs of stress are not recognized or ignored and the foxes are repeatedly exposed to unnecessary stressful situations. Positive public relations work to promote the image of the fox is important, but it must never be to the detriment of an animal. If then there are commercial interests, such as B. the marketing of a fox for photo shoots, then that can absolutely not be in the interest of the animals.
Many a fox keeper fails because of the actually not so demanding task of making the fox enclosure really escape-proof. Although this can be done without any problems with the necessary knowledge and the corresponding financial and physical effort, it is often not carried out professionally or not carefully enough. Breeding foxes are also scared, have a certain thirst for freedom and - as already explained - usually remain shy of strangers. If the surveillance is not complete and the accommodation is not absolutely escape-proof, it happens that such foxes break out and then cannot be recaptured. Of course, it also happens that breeding foxes are abandoned by overwhelmed keepers, although their survival in the wild is questionable. Theoretically, there is also the possibility that farmed foxes could mate with wild foxes, which would lead to further problems.

When it comes to breeding foxes as pets, all of these challenges and problems at the expense of the animals are accepted by fox keepers just to satisfy their will for an exotic pet. However, this cannot be a justification, which is why I reject the breeding of foxes from an animal welfare point of view as superfluous, selfish and cruel. There is no reasonable reason to deliberately mis-mint, tame, or systematically breed foxes just for the sake of selling them to humans as pets. This is not what animals want and a human need for it inevitably conflicts with the nature of the fox. As a true fox lover, you should ideally see foxes in freedom and in their natural habitat and make sure that they are as safe there as possible.

If keepers of breeding foxes constantly upload photos on social networks and thus give the impression that it is easy to keep foxes as pets, then it does not seem more serious because they claim in return that they want to inform people how complicated foxes are as pets so that they are not carelessly kept as pets. For me these are self-promoters and hypocrites. They are often aware that their photos and videos mislead people into believing that foxes are suitable pets. Even if you can perhaps guarantee an optimal posture yourself, not everyone who is tempted to buy a fox through their self-portrayal will be able to do so. As a consequence, they would have to refrain from continuing to post such photos, but they do not and instead assert again and again that they do not want to advertise foxes as pets with their pictures, even though they are obviously and inevitably doing just that.

I think the idea of ​​breeding animals as pets for the enjoyment of humans is now fundamentally reprehensible, even for dogs and cats. The animal shelters are overflowing with discarded breeding animals and lovable mongrels. Anyone who still supports the breeding of animals today, which is often directly or indirectly connected with suffering, or who buys a breeding animal, cannot seriously call himself an animal lover or an animal rights activist. Anyone who buys a breeding fox is not doing this to help the fox, but is promoting a commercial system in which the animal has degenerated into exotic fashion goods out of pure self-interest and a misunderstood love of animals. The trend towards foxes as exotic pets is a disaster. As long as there is a market for such foxes, they will inevitably be sold to the wrong people and end up in inappropriate keeping, abandoned or end up in animal welfare.

Wild foxes

Having said this about bred foxes, it should go without saying that it would be even more reprehensible to tear a healthy wild animal out of nature, its familiar surroundings and its family. Taking fox pups from nature for no reason is illegal and absolutely contrary to animal welfare.

However, it can be in the interests of animal welfare to take a needy, orphaned or injured fox out of the wild, provided the intention is there and everything is done to later release it - if possible. Before taking it, however, you should get in touch with competent people from a rescue center or wildlife rescue team who have explicitly had experience with foxes. Wild fox pups often show surprisingly little shyness and are curious and playful. Seeing them alone at the construction site is not uncommon and does not necessarily mean that they are orphaned. Allegedly orphaned fox pups are often still looked after by their parents and were only left alone for a few hours by them. Intervention is only allowed if there is a justified suspicion of the need for help and this has been confirmed by an expert or if an animal is clearly seriously injured or ill. If you have taken a fox from the wild, you are legally obliged to inform the police or the person authorized to hunt about the removal.From then on, the goal must be to reintroduce the animal to the wild. This goal must be worked towards consistently and professionally. A species-appropriate housing, rearing and care without unnecessary contact with people and pets, but with contact with conspecifics, is particularly important in order to avoid incorrect imprinting and not to endanger the success of a later reintroduction into the wild. Too close contact with people or pets or even a deliberate mistake in the self-interested intention to keep the fox as a pet, if necessary, would not be in the interests of the animal, but would make later reintroduction impossible and the animal thus the chance of natural take normal life. In most cases, wild fox pups develop a great fear of people and a strong desire for freedom around October. Locking a fox in an enclosure in the garden or even in the apartment or a small room is no life for a fox. Most of the time, a wild fox becomes very restless and destructive, develops behavioral disorders and can exhaust itself completely, seriously injure itself or even die from the stress of captivity when attempting to escape. In this case, it is practically impossible to keep them appropriately. Such foxes are, however, too used to people and pets, are not prepared for an independent life in the wild and have no experience in dealing with conspecifics, so that survival in the wild would be difficult. They would have problems interacting with wild conspecifics, would seek closeness to humans ("problem fox") and would be easy prey for hunters. Finding a good place for such foxes is almost impossible, so that they will ultimately be killed or forced into an unsuitable attitude for the rest of their lives. Even if such a fox in captivity at some point gives up and seems to come to terms with its situation, keeping it in an apartment is never appropriate to the species. Apart from that, keeping a wild fox is even more demanding than keeping a farmed fox.
Taking a wild fox out of nature for no reason and trying to tame it is illegal, heartless, selfish and cruel. Even if the natural life of the wild foxes in Germany is difficult and fraught with danger, this free life is still better than a life in captivity near humans and dogs, the foxes' greatest enemies.

Care foxes from (wild) animal protection

Now that I have explained why I reject both the breeding and keeping of foxes as pets and the attempt to tame a wild fox, there is only one reasonable reason for me to keep a fox permanently in captivity and there are special cases when in which this can also be appropriate to animal welfare:

Unfortunately, it happens again and again that wild foxes are unnecessarily removed from nature and / or incorrectly formed and can therefore no longer be released into the wild. It also happens that a fox can no longer be released into the wild due to an injury or illness. This is the case, for example, if a fox has lost a front leg (e.g. due to an illegal leghold trap). Another example is toxoplasmosis, a parasite-induced disease that can lead to brain damage in foxes, loss of shyness towards humans and motor disorders that make reintroduction impossible. Such foxes do not suffer after their recovery and can reach old age, but their chances of survival in the wild would be too low and a release into the wild would therefore not be ethically justifiable. If appropriate housing cannot be found for such foxes, the only alternative is usually euthanasia.

Anyone who takes in such a fox, enables him to live as appropriate to the species as possible in a large outdoor enclosure among other conspecifics, does not force him to do something contrary to his nature, knows and respects his needs, will save the animal's life and thus make a meaningful contribution to animal welfare .

[1] Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (2014): Report on minimum requirements for keeping mammals, page 261

(As of: 08/09/2017)