Target: Ontario Minister of Natural Resources Linda Jeffery
Goal: To halt the growing number of coyote killing contests emerging across many parts of Ontario.
As a species coyotes are naturally adaptive and better able to deal with encroaching human influences than other predators. Unfortunately this ability to flourish in a variety of situations often earns them unwanted attention.
Many areas across Ontario have reached the unfortunate conclusion that the of these animals should be met with massive hunts aimed at wiping coyote populations out almost entirely from certain locales.
These hunts are purportedly to reduce the threat of livestock predation. This notion ignores the fact that those livestock losses represent only 1% of sheep produced and .08% of cattle. More livestock animals will die of natural means every year than animal predation. This attention is unwarranted considering the overall losses coyotes represent.
Ultimately in 2010 a total of 61 farmers in Ottawa made claims relating to coyote predation of livestock from of a total of 1200 farms in the region. This small number means that current preventative measures are proving sufficient; there is no need to further escalate efforts into killing these animals on a mass scale.
Even more disheartening is the issue that the Minister of Natural Resources for the region receives over 76% of its operating budget from revenue directly related to licensing (hunting, fishing, etc.). These two facts lead one to believe that massive coyote hunts are tied as strongly to producing money for the department as they are protecting livestock.
Contests aiming to encourage more self-proclaimed hunters to purchase a license also give rise to amateurs seeking to cash in on what amounts to a bounty on the animals’ lives. The growing number of coyote hunters often proves to be the greater hazard overall.
Steel traps set for coyotes can kill pets and maim unaware individuals. The residents of Ontario also report hunters retaliating against those that report unsafe and/or illegal activities being conducted by the hunters.
What purpose is there in seeking to kill coyotes when the efforts to do so cause more harm than the animals themselves? For the rights of these animals to live, as well as the safety of a community being caused more harm by the coyote hunts than the coyotes, this notion of Coyote hunting contests needs to end.
Dear Minister Jeffery,
Coyote populations should not be exterminated. These animals cause a comparatively small amount of harm to the livestock of Ontario and do not warrant mass killings.
Annually less than one tenth of one percent of cattle in the region are killed by coyotes. Disease and other natural causes will amount to a far greater number than those taken by predation. Simple changes to improve the overall health of these animals on farms will serve to save a much greater number of animals overall without the requirement of any animals being killed.
Only 61 farmers total made claims of predation from a region of roughly 1,200 farms. Efforts being made to reduce the coyote threat have already proven successful. Attempting to lower that number by attacking the animals on a large scale will only drive them to further desperation which could result in a stronger coyote influence in urban and other locales.
This is an unnecessary risk. Were one to fully step away from the animal rights concerns the allure of increased hunting license revenue should still not outweigh the consideration of those attracted to the region by hunting competitions.
Citizens of Ontario have reported incidences such as hunting illegally and unsafely from roadways and unintentional harm to pets coming from steel traps targeting coyotes.
When authorities are called upon to halt these coyote hunters retaliation is a definite issue. One individual reported that a hunter they reported to the police later left a partially skinned dead coyote in his driveway to warn against further action.
These hunters create far more issues than the coyotes themselves. Between the rights of the animals to live and the harm hunters are causing, it simply makes no sense to allow coyote hunting contests to continue.
I urge you; put a stop to the large-scale killing of coyotes.
[Your Name Will Go Here]