- New Mexico should end repulsive killing contests that celebrate killing for killing’s sake … next coyote killing-contest is Oct. 9-11
LAS CRUCES – Animal Protection Voters (APV) and Southwest Environmental Center (SWEC) renew calls for a statewide ban on the cruel and dangerous practice of animal-killing contests.
Contests began last month and will continue throughout the fall of 2015 and into winter of 2016. The next killing contest, which promotes and rewards indiscriminate killing of native wildlife, is set for the weekend of Oct. 9. Hundreds of lives are on the line if these mass killings are allowed to continue.
Legislation seeking to ban coyote-killing contests for financial and other reward was introduced in the 2015 legislative session with sponsorship from Sen. Mark Moores, R-Albuquerque and Rep. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces. Senate Bill 253, which defines and prohibits coyotes killing contests, passed the Senate with a bipartisan, 27-11 vote but was tabled in its first committee in the House.
“No one is trying to restrict the ability of property owners to kill individual offending coyotes,” Senator Moores said, “but we must be willing to say no to these contests that celebrate cruel and unethical blood sport.”
Rep. Steinborn added, “Most New Mexicans do not support the indiscriminate killing of our state’s wildlife. The fact that these contests continue to be held is an embarrassment to all of us, and I will continue to do everything in my power to get legislation passed that will ban them.”
Animal-killing contests, which commonly exploit unprotected species such as coyotes and prairie dogs, occur frequently across New Mexico public lands, including U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and State Trust lands. Contest promoters rarely share with the public the locations where the contestants are shooting firearms. The contests frequently offer prizes of cash or firearms to the contestants who kill the most animals or ones of specific size.
“Indiscriminate killing of animals is not recognized as wildlife management by any serious scientific authority and these contests serve no purpose whatsoever to our state,” said Phil Carter, wildlife campaign manager for APV. “The competitions send the message that life is disposable in New Mexico—it’s beyond time to ban these events that glorify killing for its own sake, and we are grateful to Sen. Moores and Rep. Steinborn for championing the public’s opposition to this gruesome practice.”
Animal Protection Voters (APV) is a 501(c)4 organization which promotes and supports animal-friendly legislation at the local, state and federal levels; builds an effective political voice for animal advocates in New Mexico; and holds New Mexico’s elected officials accountable on animal issues. For more information visit www.apvnm.org.