As awareness grows about the horrors of wildlife killing contests that continue to take place across the country, efforts to see them ended have continued to grow with it and more areas have taken a stand against them.
Now, there’s a chance to make them a thing of the past in Arizona.COYOTE VICTIM OF A WILDLIFE KILLING CONTEST | PHOTO COURTESY PROJECTCOYOTE.ORG
These contests, which are also known as drives or derbies reward people of all ages with cash prizes and weapons, among other things, for killing the biggest and most animals. While native predators are most often the victims, many other species have sadly also found themselves targets.
This past December, the Santa Slay Coyote Tournament ignited outrage, but coyotes aren’t the only animals being targeted in the state. According to Project Coyote, every year hundreds of bobcats, cougars, foxes, rabbits, badgers and other species are killed in contests taking place in Arizona.
Fortunately, wild animals who are put in the cross hairs during these events aren’t without advocates who have been working to ban them. Vermont and New Mexico have both recently acted to ban coyote-killing contests, while predator-killing contests have been banned in California since 2014.
Now there’s an opportunity to make Arizona the next state to take a stand against them.
The Arizona Game and Fish Commission (AZGF) has proposed a rule that would make it illegal to organize, participate in and promote wildlife killing contests throughout the state.
While these competitions are often held under the guise of wildlife management, or predator control, wildlife advocates and scientists argue that they’re not only cruel but counter to the goal of reducing conflicts with “nuisance” animals and that the indiscriminate killing of predators also ignores the valuable role they play in maintaining healthy ecosystems.
In the end, it’s more than clear that these events are not about wildlife management, or even hunting, but about glorifying the killing of animals for fun and personal gain.
Multiple investigations have brought to light the callous and indifferent attitudes being promoted towards wildlife targeted in these events who deserve more respect and compassion – especially those who are left with little to no protection from being hunted year round in unlimited numbers.
While six city and county governments in the state have passed resolutions condemning these types of events, wildlife advocates want to see a statewide ban passed to protect animals from being senselessly and unethically slaughtered.
The AZGF will be accepting public comments until May 12, and will hopefully receive enough feedback in support of banning these events to shut them down forever.
You can help by signing and sharing the petition urging the Arizona Game and Fish Commission to adopt the rule change that would ban these indefensible events in the state forever.
For more on how to help end these events across the nation, check out the National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests.
This article was first published by Care2.com on 23 Apr 2019.
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