California: No more wildlife-killing contests

© Karl Umbriaco | Dreamstime.com

 

In the December 3, 2014 edition of the online magazine Takepart, an article by Todd Woody reports that California has banned wildlife-killing contests.

 

Michael Sutton, president of the California Game commission, said, “Awarding prizes for wildlife-killing contests is both unethical and inconsistent with our current understanding of natural systems…Such contests are an anachronism and have no place in modern wildlife management.”

 

In a 4 to 1 vote, the California Fish and Game Commission voted for a rule that bans California wildlife from being killed in contests for rewards of prizes or money. Many such contests were being held, targeting wolves, coyotes, squirrels and other animals. Trophies may still be awarded legally for game animals like deer.

 

The Founder and Executive Director of Project Coyote, who testified at the Commission hearing today, welcomed the decision as a victory for wildlife, noting that “We should not be killing wildlife for fun and prizes in the 21st century.”

 

In November, conservationists blocked a wolf and coyote derby in Idaho on three million acres of BLM land. The hunt would have taken place every year for five years. 90,000 comments from the public were sent in opposing the predator derby.

 

Wildlife-killing contests are especially inhumane because they foster the perception of wildlife is a “nuisance” that may be killed for “fun” and “entertainment.”

 

Seeing causing death and suffering as “fun” cannot be healthy for either children or adults, and it is destructive towards the natural world.

 

Congratulations to California for taking this important step.

 

Photo: © Karl Umbriaco / Dreamstime.com

 

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