U.S. Congress Introduces Legislation To Ban Barbaric Wildlife Killing Contests On More Than 500 Million Acres Of Public Land

Photos by: The Humane Society of the United States

Earlier this month, Congressman Steve Cohen of Tennessee and 15 cosponsors introduced the Prohibit Wildlife Killing Contests Act to stop the appalling practice of rewarding hunters for killing animals in contests that serve no legitimate purpose. The new legislation would prohibit organizing, sponsoring, conducting, or participating in wildlife killing contests on more than 500 million acres of U.S. public lands.

“America’s wildlife all play a special role in the natural ecosystem and killing them for what some deem a ‘sport’ is both cruel and unnecessary,” Congressman Cohen said in a statement. “These contests serve no legitimate wildlife-management purpose and ending them is the right thing to do.”

As noted by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Prohibit Wildlife Killing Contests Act of 2022 would require the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service to enact regulations banning wildlife killing contests within a year. Eight states that have already outlawed these events within their borders, include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Vermont, and Washington.

Wildlife killing contests are organized competitive events in which participants compete for cash or prizes by killing the most, largest, or sometimes the smallest animals over a certain period of time. Each year thousands of coyotes, foxes, bobcats, mountain lions, prairie dogs, and wolves are senselessly killed during these so-called “competitions.”

“This is a huge victory for coyotes, bobcats, foxes, mountain lions, and all of America’s wild carnivores that have been relentlessly persecuted for decades,” said Stephanie Kurose, a senior policy specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It is appalling that these thrill-kill, mass slaughter contests were ever allowed on our public lands. We applaud the leadership of Representative Cohen and other cosponsors for introducing this important legislation, which will protect hundreds of millions of acres of public lands and spare countless wildlife from these ruthless kill fests.”

“Most people are shocked to learn that wildlife killing contests are legal on our public lands,” stated Camilla Fox, executive director of Project Coyote. “Killing animals for prizes and entertainment is ethically indefensible, ecologically reckless, and anathema to sound wildlife conservation and management.”

The Center for Biological Diversity and Project Coyote are among an estimated 50 animal welfare and conservation organizations that are supporting the passage of this new legislation.

Cosponsors of the legislation include: Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Gerald Connolly (VA-11), Jim Cooper (TN-05), Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03), Sara Jacobs (CA-53), Andy Levin (MI-09), Grace Meng (NY-06), Jerry Nadler (NY-10), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Mark Takano (CA-41), Dina Titus (NV-01), and Cori Bush (MO-01).

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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