With the advent of these dog-like domestic foxes, one may wonder if they may be kept successfully as pets. To begin, legality varies depending on where you and your fox would reside. In British Columbia, the fox (Vulpes vulpes) is considered a native species, and is protected under the Wildlife Act. Under this legislation, “a person commits an offence if the person has live wildlife in his or her personal possession except as authorized under a licence or permit or as provided by regulation” (Wildlife Act, 1996).
The kind of licence or permit that would make ownership of foxes legal in BC would not be issued for personal use such as pet ownership. The Wildlife Act also forbids the import of wildlife into BC, making the prospect of a pet fox solidly illegal in this province.
A native red fox spotted at Quesnel Lake, British Columbia. (Source)
Other provinces that possess similar legislation that would prohibit personal fox ownership include Manitoba (Wildlife Act, 2006), Saskatchewan (Captive Wildlife Regulations, 2008), Nova Scotia (Wildlife Act, 1989), Alberta (Wildlife Act, 2000), Ontario (Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997), Newfoundland (Wildlife Act, 2012), the Yukon (Wildlife Act, 2002), and Nunavut (Consolidation of Wildlife Act, 2003). In addition, the import of foxes for personal ownership is illegal nationwide (CFIA, 2013). As such, fox ownership is largely non-existent in Canada.
It is a different story, however, in the United States. Pet foxes are legal in 27 states, requiring a varying number of licences and permits, or none at all in states such as Tennessee, New Mexico, Kansas, and Mississippi. (Living with Foxes, n.d.). However even if fox ownership is legal according to state laws, pet foxes may be banned at a municipal level, meaning prospective owners must take extra precautions to be sure their pet would be allowed.