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Groups Seek to Stop Coyote Killing Contest in Oregon

Participants compete for cash and prizes for killing the heaviest or greatest number of the targeted species. In many contests, youth are encouraged to participate, and hunting equipment and high-powered rifles, including AR-15s, are awarded as raffle prizes.

Editor The ARK Center

PROJECT COYOTE: ‘State and national conservation and animal welfare organizations have sent a letter to the Oregon Farm Bureau requesting cancellation of the upcoming Young Farmers & Ranchers (YFR) 1st Annual Coyote Hunting Tournament in Burns, and asking for support of a statewide ban on wildlife killing contests in Oregon… Wildlife killing contests, in which participants compete for cash and prizes for killing the heaviest or greatest number of the targeted species, are a gruesome spectacle, akin to a blood sport like dog-fighting and cockfighting. While this event is advertised as a coyote killing contest, often foxes, bobcats, and in some Western states, even mountain lions and wolves are targeted in such events…

The Burns coyote killing contest is slated to take place from November 30 – December 2, 2018. According to the contest advertisement, teams will compete to kill as many coyotes as possible; the team with the greatest total weight of all coyotes killed will win. A portion of the proceeds will go to the YFR program… A 2018 video of an undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States showed contest participants amassing piles of coyote and fox carcasses to be judged for prizes, and laughing and posing for photos in front of the dead animals. In many contests, youth are encouraged to participate, and hunting equipment and high-powered rifles—including AR-15s—are awarded as raffle prizes…

Wildlife killing contests contravene modern, science-based wildlife management principles. In a signed statement, more than 65 prominent conservation scientists refute myths perpetuated by special interest agricultural and trophy hunting groups that killing contests are an effective method for managing carnivore populations. Using peer-reviewed literature, the statement explains that there is no scientific evidence to support claims that indiscriminate killing of coyotes prevents livestock loss, boosts populations of game animals like deer, or effectively reduces coyote populations’. SOURCE…

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