Last night the Albuquerque City Council voted unanimously in support of a resolution condemning coyote killing contests and calling on the New Mexico legislature to pass legislation banning the practice. This vote comes on the heels of a powerful editorial in the Albuquerque Journal that stated:
“The New Mexico Legislature stepped up and banned cockfighting because lawmakers saw it for what it is: barbaric cruelty that has no place in our state’s proud cultures…They need to do the same for trapping and killing contests.”
Project Coyote Science Advisory Board member and wildlife biologist Dave Parsons stated in his testimony before the City Council:
“Many respected wildlife experts agree that there is no scientific justification for coyote killing contests and no proven wildlife management benefit. These contests are antithetical to modern wildlife management principles. It is well past time to end this unethical practice.“
Momentum is building across the country to ban wildlife killing contests that award prizes and other inducements for killing wild animals as part of a contest, derby, or tournament. On February 21, H.363—a bill that would ban coyote killing contests in Vermont—passed the full House and now moves on to the Senate.
On February 10, more than 70 Massachusetts residents showed up to protest the first ever coyote killing contest on Cape Cod. And in January, Project Coyote volunteers Jana Hofeditz, Fauna Tomlinson and others organized a successful public protest against a coyote killing contest in Lemmon Valley—just outside of Reno, Nevada—that generated statewide media coverage. These protests send a powerful message that a majority of Americans do not support the wanton slaughter of our wildlife in such barbaric kill fests.
As a nation we have banned cockfighting and dogfighting, recognizing that such cruelty is unacceptable. We truly believe that we can bring an end to wildlife killing contests in our lifetime. Last night’s vote by the Albuquerque City Council sends a strong message that the time is now to stop this barbarity once and for all.
We will be sharing more exciting news about our film KILLING GAMES ~ Wildlife in The Crosshairs, which is helping to raise public awareness about this unconscionable practice and to inspire action to end it. But for now we wanted to share this positive news with you—and to thank all of our supporters and our coalition partners in New Mexico, Vermont, and beyond who are helping to create a more compassionate world for wildlife.
P.S.: Read this excellent Op-Ed by Carl Safina and Erica Cirino in the Cape Cod Times.