Critical New Bill Introduced In Colorado Could Ban The Trophy Hunting Of Mountain Lions, Bobcats & Canadian Lynx

Last week, Colorado legislators introduced Senate Bill 31 to protect mountain lions, bobcats, and Canadian lynx from being hunted for “trophies.” This groundbreaking bill is being championed by a powerhouse coalition of legislators including Senators Sonya Jaquez Lewis and Joann Ginal, as well as Representatives Monica Duran and Judy Amabile.  

Each year, trophy hunters horrifically kill hundreds of Colorado’s mountain lions and thousands of bobcats, typically chasing them down with packs of dogs and frequently trapping and shooting bobcats at close range. Hunters kill these animals for so-called “trophies,” bragging rights, and to sell their pelts to international markets for fur production. Polling data shows that a large majority of people across Colorado are opposed to the trophy hunting of these animals.

“We applaud the introduction of SB 31 to protect our state’s wild cats from trophy hunting. It’s time for this archaic, inhumane, and scientifically unsupported practice to end in our state,” said Aubyn Royall, Colorado state director for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

“There is no scientific justification for trophy hunting of wild cats and it can actually lead to increased conflicts in our human communities,” continued Royall. “Preventing the needless killing of these animals is critical now more than ever before, as Colorado’s wild cats are increasingly threatened by climate change and exploding human development in our wild spaces.”

Senator Sonya Jaquez Lewis of Senate District 17 in Eastern Boulder County is bringing this legislation forward. She said, “We know that 72% of Colorado residents believe that our state’s beautiful mountain lions and bobcats should not be hunted as trophies, yet, hunters kill hundreds each year. Mountain lions self-regulate their population sizes and very few livestock are killed by them in Colorado. We do not need to be hunting these gorgeous animals for sport in our state.”

“Colorado is special because of our wildlife and wild spaces. These spaces would not be the same without mountain lions, bobcats, and lynx. We live in Colorado so that we may co-exist with these creatures, not kill them for sport,” said Senator Joann Ginal, the co-prime sponsor of this legislation in Colorado.

Representative Monica Duran from Jefferson County is the co-prime sponsor of this bill in the House. Expressing her opposition to the cruelty of trophy hunting wild cats for sport, she said, “There is no justification for chasing mountain lions with hounds simply to kill them for bragging rights. This practice must be stopped in Colorado.”

SB 31 also protects Canadian lynx, a rare cat species currently listed under the Endangered Species Act, to prevent any future hunting of them if they ever lose their federal protections. SB 31 also includes commonsense exemptions for killing wild cats for livestock protection, public safety, and euthanizing an injured animal.

SB 31 is also being supported by a large coalition of wildlife conservation organizations including The Humane Society of the United States, AWI, Center for Biological Diversity, Mountain Lion Foundation, Project Coyote, Sierra Club Colorado, WildEarth Guardians, and Boulder Bear Coalition.

Additional information about SB 31 and the organizations supporting this critical bill can be found HERE!

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

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