"A society that condones unlimited killing of wildlife
Dear Friend of Wildlife,
for fun and prizes is morally bankrupt."
~ Dave Parsons, Project Coyote Science Advisory Board
We need your help to prohibit wildlife killing contests in California! At the request of Project Coyote, the California Fish & Game Commission voted unanimously on February 5th to consider a statewide ban on wildlife killing contests. Project Coyote representatives made the case for a ban, after which newly elected Commission Vice President Jack Baylis put forth the motion to move forward on a formal rule-making process to consider prohibiting wildlife-killing contests statewide. Commission President Michael Sutton supported the motion stating, "I've been concerned about these killing contests for some time. They seem inconsistent both with ethical standards of hunting and our current understanding of the important role predators play in ecosystems.” Read more here and in the articles in the sidebar. Watch our video:
As a result of the Commission's vote, a formal rule-making process will commence and the issue will be agendized at the April 16th Fish and Game Commission meeting in Ventura; public testimonies will be heard before the Commission votes on whether to permanently ban wildlife killing contests statewide (the vote on the proposed ban will not take place until June or August).
Now is the time to write- email or snail mail- favoring the ban! (please see talking points below).
California Fish and Game Commission
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
Please cc your letters to California Department of Fish & Wildlife Director Charlton H. Bonham at firstname.lastname@example.org and to Project Coyote at email@example.com as we are tracking the letters sent.
Join us in Ventura on the 16th to express your support before the Commission. Details/agenda will be posted here.
Please also sign our Change.org petition on this issue here.
Wildlife killing contests are ethically indefensible events allowing participants to kill wildlife to win prizes. They are ecologically reckless, not only harming individual animals, but also altering predator-prey dynamics, disrupting the social dynamics of predatory species, and increasing threats to public safety, all for fun and prizes. They have no beneficial management purpose but, rather, promote gratuitous violence against wildlife. They demean the immense ecological and economic value of predators in an ecosystem while teaching children to hate and trivialize the lives of predators.
Additional talking Points (please personalize your letter):
1. Commend the California Fish and Game Commission and the Wildlife Resources Committee for prioritizing the issue of modernizing predator conservation and stewardship statewide. California has the opportunity to set the trend for the nation by moving this great state toward more responsible, science-based, and ethical wildlife stewardship. These regulations and policies should reflect current science, conservation biology, and the ecological principles of ecosystem-based management as well as proven coexistence practices which will yield better outcomes for wildlife and people. The first logical step toward this goal is to end those practices that violate these standards; we must outlaw wildlife killing contests.
2. Wildlife killing contests, “derbies” and “drives” are conducted for profit, entertainment, prizes and, simply, for the "fun" of killing. Such thrill kill events perpetuate the wanton waste of wildlife. Prizes and awards are given to those who kill the most individuals and the largest (and sometimes the most females). This is not about sport or fair-chase; predators are often baited and lured in with distress calls of wounded young placing wildlife at an even greater and unfair disadvantage.
3. No evidence exists showing that indiscriminate killing contests control problem animals or serve any beneficial management function. Coyote populations that are not exploited (that is hunted, trapped, or controlled by other means) form stable "extended family" social structures that naturally limit coyote populations through defense of territory and the suppression of breeding by subordinate female members of the family group. Indiscriminate killing of coyotes disrupts this social stability resulting in increased reproduction and greater pup survival.
4. The importance of predators in maintaining order, stability, and productivity in ecosystems has been documented in scientific literature. Coyotes and other native carnivores provide myriad ecosystem services that benefit humans; these include control of rodents and rabbits which compete with domestic livestock for forage and which are associated with plague and lyme disease.
5. Wildlife killing contests perpetuate a culture of violence and send the message to children that life has little value and that an entire species of animals is disposable.
6. Wildlife killing contests put non-target animals, companion animals, and people at risk.
Thank you for speaking up for wildlife!
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