Washington Residents: Ban Wild Animal Killing Contests
As opposition grows against sickening wild animal killing contests that take place across the U.S., a growing number of states are acting to shut them down. Now, we’re urging the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to make theirs the next state to step up for wild animals by ending these killing sprees before the July 14 deadline.
Wild animal killing contests award prizes ranging from cash to guns to people of all ages for killing the most animals or for killing the largest/smallest animal within a specified period of time. These contests are often held under the guise of wildlife management or predator control, but they amount to nothing but entertainment for those who demonize the animals who are targeted. Participants use high-tech electronic calling devices to lure animals for easy kills, often leaving injured and orphaned animals to die.
In Washington, where participants can win a “Can’t Shoot ‘Fer Shit’” award, at least 1,427 coyotes were killed between 2013 to 2018 in contests like the “Save Our Fawns” Coyote Derby, the Washington Predator Hunting Coyote Classic, and the Lind Gun Club Coyote Hunt.
Not only are these contests disgustingly cruel, indiscriminate and unethical, they promote indifference towards wild animals and scientists have found that they run counter to the goal of reducing conflicts with humans. They also ignore the valuable role that predators play in maintaining healthy ecosystems.
Now, however, wildlife officials in Washington are considering a major change that would end these events. The WDFW has proposed a rule that would protect members of species who can be killed in unlimited numbers year-round from becoming targets of these contests. This would protect coyotes, bobcats, crows, foxes and raccoons from being senselessly killed for nothing more than entertainment and prizes.
As members of the National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests, we collaborated on this proposed rule with local organizations. Help us urge Washington to join Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Vermont in passing bans severely restricting or ending this gruesome blood sport.
What YOU Can Do
Please submit our letter to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife before the deadline on July 14 at midnight Pacific Time for consideration during the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission’s August 21 meeting.