Ban Savage Killing Contests


Target: Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture for the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Goal: Ban inhumane contest killing in the United States.

Contest killing is a game. The purpose of this “game” is to slaughter as many animals as possible in the shortest amount of time or to kill the largest or smallest animal first. Participants are awarded cash or prizes for winning and participating. The most common targets are coyotes, prairie dogs, and pigeons. These animals are treated as disposable and like their lives don’t mean a thing. Urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture to finally ban cruel killing contests.

The most common killing contest is coyote calling. This is the most savage of the contests as the coyotes may be killed by any means—the body count is all that is taken into consideration. When the timer goes off, the bodies are counted and weighed and a winner is chosen.

In prairie dog killing contests, prairie dogs are shot down with powerful rifles. Hunters have described the experience as “beautiful,” and boast the “red mist” as perfection. That red mist is the bloody remains of the prairie dog. The players actively enjoy watching the prairie dogs being blown apart. The person who kills the highest percentage of prairie dogs is deemed winner. Pigeon shoots are just as violent: Shooters line up and try and shoot down as many pigeons as possible. Thousands of birds may be killed during a pigeon shooting contest.

There have been several proposals to ban contest killing in various states across the United States. However, this should not be a state issue. The USDA has a federal duty to protect animals from being killed for no purpose. There is simply no reason to allow these contests to continue. The only people who benefit are the killers with the highest kill-count. If contest killings were made illegal, no one would suffer any negative consequences. The animals would be able to live out their lives as nature intended, rather than being killed for the sake of a prize.

Sign the petition below to show you do not support these savage contests.


Dear Secretary Vilsack,

I am writing to you because we cannot allow contest killing to continue in the United States. The Animal Welfare Act needs to be expanded to include all sport killing and hunting contests. When the purpose of a contest is to take as many innocent lives as possible, it is no longer a game, it is slaughter. We have a duty to protect animals from heartless humans that have such a desire to kill for the sake of killing. Blood lust is not a reason to harm animals, and these cruel impulses should not be indulged.

Animals are not here for our entertainment. It is inhumane to allow these violent contests to continue. I urge you to let these coyotes, prairie dogs and pigeons enjoy their lives in nature without a constant human threat.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Fiona Day Nguyenphuc

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