Ban Wildlife-Killing Contests in New Mexico

Killing Contests in New Mexico

Target: Governor Susana Martinez

Goal: Ban recreational animal-killing contests in New Mexico.

An event last fall drew teams of hunters to New Mexico in a competition to kill the most coyotes. Public outcry against the event prompted legislation banning organized animal killing contests with civil fines and possible jail time. Please sign this petition and support criminalizing recreational animal-killing contests to preserve wildlife and ethical hunting practices in New Mexico.

Currently New Mexico allows hunters to kill coyotes and other unprotected animals anytime they like and in any number. This loophole in hunting practices has brought on offensive competitions with the goal to kill as many animals as possible, usually coyotes. Mark Chavez, owner of a gun store in Los Lunas, sponsored the coyote-killing contest that attracted national attention last year. The contest had 52 two-member teams that killed 60 coyotes in a weekend. The winning team killed 11 coyotes and won their choice of a 12-gauge shotgun or two AR-15 semiautomatic rifles. Following criticism for the killing contest, Chavez belatedly re-named the competition “a management hunt”.

House Bill 316 was introduced by New Mexico State Representative Nate Cote. The “coyote bill”, as it is being called, would make it illegal to organize or participate in animal-killing contests during which the goal is to kill the greatest number of coyotes, bobcats, prairie dogs, rabbits, and other species not adequately protected under New Mexico game laws. While it is common for ranchers to kill coyotes and other small animals that are disturbing their land, these killing-contests are unethical, violent and should be illegal. Chavez’s plan to continue the contests under the guise of “management hunts” doesn’t actually make sense. Wildlife supporters argue that killing coyotes will not reduce their numbers, but may actually lead to population increases. According to the director of the Southwest Environmental Center, “Coyotes are territorial. When you indiscriminately kill coyotes, they respond by having larger litters and, because there is more food available, they tend to live longer.”

Please sign this petition and urge Governor Martinez to support New Mexico’s ban on recreational wildlife-killing contests.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Martinez,

House Bill 316 is proposed legislation making it illegal to organize or participate in animal-killing contests during which the goal is to kill the greatest number of coyotes, bobcats, prairie dogs, rabbits, and other species not adequately protected under New Mexico game laws. Currently New Mexico allows hunters to kill coyotes and other common animals anytime they like and in any number. Please support this bill in order to criminalize recreational slaughter that serves no purpose beyond entertainment.

Wildlife-killing contests are commonly held on ranchers’ land and sponsored by gun distributors and manufactures. The point of the game is simple; kill as many coyotes as possible within the time allotted. Contest supporters claim mass slaughter is necessary to control the animal population; however, wildlife supporters argue the opposite. According to Kevin Bixby, director of the Southwest Environmental Center, “Coyotes are territorial. When you indiscriminately kill coyotes, they respond by having larger litters and, because there is more food available, they tend to live longer.” While it is commonly accepted that ranchers must sometimes kill small animals who threaten the land, it is not necessary to kill them in mass numbers.

Violators of the bill would face a civil fine up to $1,000. Repeat offenders could be jailed for a year. Please support New Mexico’s ecosystems and wildlife population by supporting HB 316 and banning recreational wildlife slaughter.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: trapfreenm via Yahoo

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3 Comments

  1. Nancy Mulvihill says:

    I am ashamed to live in a country that treats other inhabitants like this. Would you prefer out-of-control rodent populations?

  2. Please help stop these cruel, horrific barbaric contests!!

  3. Sharon franklin says:

    This has to stop. It’s barbaric. Wolves were here b4 us & r entitled to live. Ppl who kill em shld b killed

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