Target: Troy Fraser, Chair of the Texas State Committee on Natural Resources
Goal: Ban the killing of animals for contests in the state of Texas
Kill contests are hunting tournaments used completely for entertainment, with contestants competing to kill the most animals in a given species. These hunting competitions are often fundraisers for public and private companies. Animals most often targeted by these contests include coyotes, prairie dogs, and pigeons.
In coyote kill contests, winners are sometimes determined by stacking and weighing heaps of animal carcases. In other contests, such as those involving prairie dogs, shooters line up and kill the animals as they leave their homes. Kill contest pigeons are usually captive animals, released only moments before being shot. Thousands of pigeons are killed or mutilated in these events. Carcasses in each contest are usually disposed of rather than used.
This haphazard killing is both unnecessary and inhumane, as inexperienced hunters wound animals needlessly and leave them for dead, not using the meat or pelt for any purpose. Meanwhile, many experienced, ethical hunters insist that they do not kill animals wastefully. Moreover, killing several members of a particular species in an area negatively affects the ecosystem overall, including the human habitat. For example, quickly killing predators like coyotes may actually increase their number in the long run, as it causes disorder in the hierarchy of their packs.
New Mexico has already introduced a bill to outlaw coyote-killing contests. In that state, Rep. Nate Cote said, “I am embarrassed as a sportsman that these things take place,” and wildlife biologist David Parsons said, “Killing for fun and prizes is morally bankrupt.” Urge Texas to follow New Mexico’s lead by introducing legislation to ban contest killing.
Dear Mr. Fraser,
I ask that you please ban kill contests in the state of Texas. These contests, in which animals are killed haphazardly in enormous numbers simply for sport, are harmful to ecosystems throughout Texas, often disrupting the mating cycles of predators and creating irregular species distributions. Rarely are meat or pelts used from the animals killed in these contests, and many animals are mutilated by inexperienced hunters.
The state of New Mexico has already introduced legislation to ban kill contests, which most often target coyotes, prairie dogs, and pigeons. I ask that you follow their lead, and pass legislation to ban kill contests in the state of Texas.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk via flickr