The Rocky Road Ahead for Wild Animal Killing Contest Bans

The Rocky Road Ahead for Wild Animal Killing Contest Bans

Despite our ongoing efforts to ban wild animal killing contests across the United States, unfortunately all of the proposed federal and state legislation failed in 2022. However, Oregon provided a ray of hope by voting to draft a rule to outlaw wildlife killing contests and happily a few county resolutions in Michigan and Minnesota are progressing to move those states closer to ending the violence.

During wild animal killing contests, participants compete to win cash and prizes for killing the most or the heaviest animals. Contestants use digital technology to mimic the sound of prey or young animals in distress and lure unsuspecting animals to their deaths. 

The federal bill to prohibit wildlife killing contests, HR 7398, died without bipartisan support and must be reintroduced next year or in 2024 if we wish to save wild animals on the national level from the horrific carnage these contests encourage. 

Our statewide efforts in the last couple of years to ban these horrific contests in New York, and Virginia failed with Virginia’s bill killed in February of this year and New York’s bill dying at the end of this year without movement. Additionally, our Nevada efforts also lost in 2021 and so last year overall wasn’t much better than 2022. The only victory in 2021 was a ban in Maryland, which went into effect that July of 2021.

The one shining star for this year just happened! On December 16, 2022, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission directed the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to work with the state’s Department of Justice to draft a rule using its existing authority to ban killing contests. We’ll keep you posted as this new rule develops!

Even though passing legislation was challenging the past two years, several counties passed resolutions banning wildlife killing contests including Kalamazoo and Washtenaw counties in Michigan. The Wisconsin Conservation Congress and The Izaak Walton League Minnesota Chapter also passed resolutions. These citizen introduced resolutions are one step toward statewide bans.

Shockingly, some places of worship organize or host killing contests.

We’re members of the steering committee for the National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests. In 2022, our Interfaith Vegan Coalition helped out by drafting this sign-on letter for faith leaders to encourage places of worship to stop hosting wildlife killing contest fundraisers. Please share the letter with faith leaders in your community and implore them to sign-on!

Examples include:

  • Lyons Community Church TRIBE Youth Group in Indiana hosts the “Coyote Hunt”
  • Tennessee River Baptist Church in Tennessee hosts the “Coyote Crackdown”
  • Elm Springs Baptist Church in Missouri hosts the “Coyote Hunt”
  • Harmony Church in Oklahoma hosts the “Predator Hunt”
  • Church of God of Prophecy in Virginia hosts the “50/50 Predator Hunt”
  • Whitneyville Bible Church in Michigan hosts the “Squirrel and Rabbit Hunt”

We will keep fighting to end wild animal killing contests. Stay tuned for new bills in 2023. You can support our efforts by making a donation today!

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