The artful fox

To put it simply: yes, foxes are legal in Missouri.


  • A Wildlife Hobby permit is required for personal use, while a Class I Wildlife Breeder permit is required for breeding.
  • Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) must be kept outside in a kennel and are not allowed inside “within a residence or inhabited dwelling.”

The legal jargon:

3 CSR 10-9.105 General Provisions

PURPOSE: This rule establishes general provisions for the chapter, to be consistent with the format of other chapters.

(1) Any person holding wildlife in captivity in any manner shall have in his/her possession the prescribed permit or evidence of exemption. Renewal of permits is conditioned on compliance with provisions of this Code.

(2) Confined wildlife held under permit within the provision of this chapter shall include only those species listed on the following Approved Confined Wildlife Species List:

Species Code No. – Common Name – Scientific Name

Class I Wildlife Breeders


Fox, Gray / Urocyon cinereoargenteus

Fox, Red / Vulpes vulpes

Wildlife Hobby

Fox, Gray / Urocyon cinereoargenteus

Fox, Red / Vulpes vulpes

3 CSR 10-9.220 Wildlife Confinement Standards

PURPOSE: This rule establishes standards to be followed by those holding wildlife in captivity to assure the animals are confined in humane and sanitary conditions and in ways that prevent escape.

(1) Cages, pens or other enclosures for confining wild animals shall be well braced, securely fastened to the floor or ground, covered with a top as required and constructed with material of sufficient strength to prevent escape. Animals may not be released to the wild and must be confined at all times in cages, pens or enclosures except in lead or drag races or birds held under a falconry permit or as otherwise permitted in this chapter. Except for unweaned young, Class II wildlife and bobcat, American badger, coyote, red fox and gray fox may not roam freely anywhere within a residence or inhabited dwelling. The following requirements shall be met:

(A) Clean drinking water shall be available in adequate amounts at all times. Semiaquatic animals, such as beaver and muskrat, shall be provided a pool of sufficient water depth for the animal to completely submerge.

(B) A shelter shall be provided for security and protection from inclement weather. Shade or an overhead structure shall be provided in warm seasons.

© Captive wildlife shall be fed daily or as required with a diet appropriate to the species and the age, size and condition of the animal. Feeding containers shall be kept clean and uneaten food removed within a reasonable time.

(D) Animal wastes shall be removed daily and disposed of properly. If bedding is provided, it shall be cleaned out and replaced every two (2) weeks.

(2) Cages, pens or other enclosures for Class I wildlife shall meet the following standards:

Species – Enclosure Space (sq. ft.) – Space Per Each Additional Animal (sq. ft) — Enclosure Height (ft.)

(G) Gray Fox 40 8 5

(O) Red Fox 40 8 5

(3) Cages, pens or other enclosures for confining Class II wildlife shall be constructed to prevent direct physical contact with the public. At a minimum, this may be accomplished by a secondary barrier of wire mesh no smaller than eleven and one-half (11 ½) gauge with openings of no more than nine (9) square inches, with a minimum distance of three feet (3’) between animal cage and public and a minimum height of six feet (6’). Doors shall remain locked at all times with appropriate locks and chains. Enclosures shall be constructed with a den, nest box or connected housing unit that can be closed off and locked with the animal inside, or be divided cage with a door between the compartments, to allow servicing and cleaning. The enclosure mesh size or spacing of bars shall be sufficient to prevent escape. A barrier system of wet or dry moats or structures, as approved by the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums, will meet these requirements.

(A) Class II wildlife shall be confined in cages, pens, enclosures or in buildings of sufficient strength with restraints affixed to all windows, doors or other means of entry or exit.

(B) Cages, pens or other enclosures for Class II wildlife shall meet the standards outlined in Appendix A of this rule, which is included herein.

3 CSR 10-9.350 Class I Wildlife Breeder Permit

PURPOSE: This rule establishes a permit for wildlife breeders.

To exercise the privileges of a Class I wildlife breeder. Fee: fifty dollars ($50).

3 CSR 10-9.420 Wildlife Hobby Permit

PURPOSE: This rule establishes a permit to possess certain forms of wildlife for personal use but not for sale.

(1) A wildlife hobby permit authorizes the holder to purchase, possess and propagate not more than fifty (50) ring-necked pheasants and bobwhite quail, in the aggregate, for personal use only and not for sale; and to hold in captivity not more than one (1) game mammal purchased from a Missouri wildlife breeder permit holder, except that Class II wildlife, hoofed mammals and skunks may not be held under this permit. Game mammals may be held in captivity but may not be propagated or sold. This permit shall be obtained prior to receipt of wildlife. The permittee must furnish proof that game mammals and birds were legally obtained. Wildlife must be confined in humane and sanitary facilities that meet standards specified in 3 CSR 10-9.220. Wildlife may be disposed of only in accordance with instructions of an agent of the department but may not be released, sold or given away. The permittee is subject to all provisions of section 578.023,

(2) Banded birds possessed under this permit may be temporarily released and recaptured when training dogs. Any device used to recapture birds in accordance with this provision must be labeled with the user’s full name, address and wildlife hobby permit number and be attended daily. Fee: ten dollars ($10).

Citation: 3 CSR 10-9.105, 3 CSR 10-9.220, 3 CSR 10-9.350, 3 CSR 10-9.420

(Source: theartfulfox)