Domestication of foxes and problems of modern animal breeding 

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To investigate the domestication process as an evolutionary phenomenon, academician D.K. Belyaev begen a wide-scale experiment on domestication of different animals. A population of silver-black foxes that may be considered genetically adapted to humans and man-made factors on all parameters was bread as a result of multi-year selection. It is extremely important that such behaviour develops on the genetic base and is preserved stable both in onthogenesis and in further generations. The population is unique as it has no analogues worldwide.

According to the recommendation of the Permanent Committee of the European Convention on the protection of animals, both captured and used for economic needs, researchers of many countries make such conditions of captivity in which animals would feel comfortable and fewest stresses. The drawback of this method is that it does not change animals genetically and does not result in breeding adaptable caged foxes, but just smooths the negative effect of captivity. The unique population of foxes bread by the Russian researchers allows to suggest another original way, as it is maximum adaptable to captivity. Using foxes of the population being domesticated in copulations with usual farm foxes can considerably alleviate and accelerate solving the problem raised by the European Committee on Animal Protection.

All indices of stress-induced hormone response considerably differ in the foxes being domesticated and are significantly lower in the foxes being domesticated than that of the farm population.

Successful reproduction in captivity is the integral adaptability index. Brood number is significantly bigger in the foxes being domesticated than in the farm population.

Technical-Economic Asvantages

Long-term selection has led to the formation of positive emotional responses to humans. These animals do not experience stress in captivity and contacts with man and it completely meets the requirements of the European Convention.

Fields of Application

Fur animal breeding.

Level and Location of Practical Realisation

Animal breeders of Finland and Holland are concerned about the legal aspect of breeding foxes as highly-organised animals that experience stresses in captivity and the existence of the whole branch of fur animal breeding industry.

Commercial Proposals

Licenced agreement.

Price List

To be determined during negotiations.


Ludmilla N. Trut, 
Doctor of Biological sciences,
Irina F. Pliusnina.
Candidate of Biological Sciences (PhD),
Institute of Cytology and Genetics,
10 Lavrentyev ave., Novosibirsk, 
630090, Russia
Phone: +7(383) 333-38-59
Fax: +7(383) 333-12-78