Target: Kyle Fawcett, Minister of Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
Goal: Stop a cruel and ineffective coyote killing tournament in Alberta.
Despite drawing heavy backlash from environmentalists and animal conservation advocates, a fourth annual coyote killing contest was held last weekend in Alberta. The event has been denounced as both cruel and unnecessary. In such hunting competitions, animals are often injured but never found, and are thus condemned to protracted suffering and slow deaths. Killing contests have also been shown to be an inefficient means of culling a wildlife population.
In the annual DKD Coyote Tournament, held in Alberta’s Lac Ste. Anne County, teams of two pay a $50 entry fee and then kill as many coyotes as possible. Cash prizes are awarded for the winners, with the team with the most kills taking home 50 percent of the total proceeds. There are also $5 cash prizes for various categories of kills, such as largest, smallest, and even “mangiest” coyote.
Duncan MacDonnell, spokesman for Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, said that while the government does not endorse the event, it is not illegal, and they are not opposed to reducing the abundant local coyote population. Farmers have long considered coyotes a nuisance. But studies have shown that simply killing coyotes is ultimately an ineffective means of solving these problems, and farmers around the world have successfully employed alternative strategies to protect their farms.
Furthermore, some have argued that the event isn’t even about controlling the coyote population. Lesley Sampson, director of Ontario-based Coyote Watch Canada, called the contest simply a “mass killing” that glorifies the slaughter of wild animals.
Coyotes are highly social animals, and one-day killing contests such as these can massively disrupt the social structure of an entire population. These competitions leave wounded animals to die slow and painful deaths, and encourage an attitude of profound disrespect toward the environment and its precious wildlife. Sign the petition below and urge officials in Alberta to ban this barbaric tradition.
Dear Mr. Fawcett,
Last weekend, another coyote killing contest, the DKD Coyote Tournament, was held in Alberta’s Lac Ste. Anne County. These competitions are inhumane, condemning wounded but unrecovered animals to great suffering before finally dying, and severely and permanently disrupting the coyotes’ complex social systems.
Aside from simply being a cruel practice, this has been shown to be an ineffective means of controlling a population of coyotes. Better, smarter techniques are available to protect the property of farmers and ranchers.
This archaic tradition is inhumane, inefficient, and unnecessary. I am urging you to ban the annual DKD Coyote Tournament that simply glorifies the maximum slaughter of wildlife.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Christopher Bruno via Wikimedia Commons