Victory! Vermont Becomes The 2nd State In The Nation To Ban Unnecessary & Brutal Coyote Killing Contests

Vermont has officially enacted a new law that bans coyote killing contests throughout the state.

A passionate and persistent coalition of wildlife enthusiasts and concerned citizens overcame opposition from paid lobbyists and Vermont’s own Fish and Wildlife Department to usher this momentous bill through the legislative process.

Project Coyote, Protect Our Wildlife Vermont, the Humane Society of the United States, and other conservation organizations campaigned vigorously to help get the bill passed through the House and Senate and to encourage the Governor to sign it into law. The bill was sponsored by Rep. David L. Deen and was written by Deen along with the help of Rep. Carol Ode.

Wildlife conservationists hailed the bill’s passage as a victory for Vermont’s wildlife.

“We are gratified that the state of Vermont recognizes the ecological damage and suffering that these killing contests inflict, and is among the nation’s vanguard in instituting policy according to science-based management techniques of predator control,” Camilla Fox, Executive Director of Project Coyote said in a statement, adding that there is no credible evidence that indiscriminate killing of coyotes or other predators effectively serves any genuine interest in managing other species.

“In fact, ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘pre-emptive’ killing of predators associated with coyote killing contests can lead to the disruption of predators’ social structure and foraging ecology in ways that increase the likelihood of depredations,” continued Fox. “What we should be doing is better recognizing and valuing predators’ valuable contribution to the health and vitality of our ecosystems.”

Brenna Galdenzi, President of Protect Our Wildlife Vermont also noted that while there is still more work to be done to bring Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s policies into the 21st Century, this is a step in the right direction.

The bill’s passage makes Vermont the second state in the nation, after California, to ban these events, which often operate out of public view. Once the bill is formally enacted, anyone found participating in such a competition would be fined for a first offense, and face license suspension and a fine for a second and any subsequent convictions.

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