Update ~ July, 2014
Dear Friend of Wildlife,
We are working hard to ban senseless wildlife-killing contests in California. On June 4th Project Coyote representatives and supporters testified before the California Fish and Game Commission in Fortuna. I presented a letter signed by 36 preeminent scientists as well as peer-reviewed literature supporting the arguments that wildlife-killing contests are not an effective wildlife management tool and can in fact excacerbate conflicts with livestock.
“To me the bottom line is that wildlife killing contests are unsportsmanlike, send the wrong message to our young hunters, and give sportsmen/women a bad name in the eyes of the public,” said Commission President Michael Sutton. “The vast majority of people in California are not hunters and they don’t understand how anyone could even want to participate in such an activity.”
The Commission agreed to move forward on Project Coyote's petition to prohibit wildlife-killing contests and will continue to accept comments via email through October 8th. A final decision is expected at the Fish and Game Commission's meeting in Mount Shasta on October 8th. Please contact the Commission and urge them to permanently ban wildlife-killing contests statewide! It's time we reform and modernize wildlife management in California by moving toward ethical wildlife stewardship.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:
1. Join Project Coyote at the next Fish and Game Commission meeting in San Diego, CA on August 6th.
What: California Fish and Game Commission Meeting
When: Wednesday, August 6th, 8:30 am
Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Golf Resort, 14455 Penasquitos Drive., San Diego, CA
More information to be posted here.
2. If you are unable to attend the Commission meeting, please submit comments favoring the wildlife killing contest ban (see talking points below).
California Fish and Game Commission
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
Remember to include your full name and contact information to ensure that your commments are counted in the official record. Please cc your letters to California Department of Fish & Wildlife Director, Charlton H. Bonham at firstname.lastname@example.org and to Project Coyote at email@example.com as we are tracking letters sent.
3. Please sign our Change.org petition in support of banning wildlife-killing contests here.
4. Help keep these issues in the public eye by submitting Letters to the Editor to your local paper(s). Use the talking points below and tips and tools for writing LTE’son our website.
Ban Wildlife-Killing Contests:
Wildlife-killing contests are ethically indefensible; participants kill wildlife to win prizes. Such contets (also called "tournaments," "derbies," and "drives") are ecologically reckless, not only harming individual animals, but also altering predator-prey dynamics, disrupting the social dynamics of predator species, and increasing threats to public safety. They have no beneficial management purpose but simply promote gratuitous violence against wildlife.
1. Wildlife-killing contests are conducted for profit, entertainment, prizes and, simply, for the "fun" of killing. This is not about sport or fair-chase; animals are often baited and lured with distress calls of wounded young, placing wildlife at an even greater and unfair disadvantage.
2. No evidence exists showing that indiscriminate killing contests control problem animals or serve any beneficial management function. For example, coyote populations that are not exploited (that is hunted, trapped, or controlled by other means) form stable "extended family" social structures that naturally limit populations through defense of territory and the suppression of breeding by subordinate female members of the family group. Indiscriminate killing of coyotes disrupts this social stability resulting in increased reproduction and pup survival.
3. Predators have been shown to provide ecosystem services that benefit humans, including the control of rodents and rabbits which compete with domestic livestock for forage and which are associated with diseases such as plague, hantavirus, tularemia and Lyme disease.
4. Wildlife-killing contests perpetuate a culture of violence and send the message to children that life has little value and that an entire species of animals is disposable.
5. Wildlife-killing contests put non-target wildlife, companion animals, and people at risk. Gray wolves, now protected under the California Endangered Species Act, are also at risk as they recolonize their historic range.
Camilla H. Fox
Founder & Executive Director
P.S. Read more about the issue in my Sacramento Bee Op Ed - "The Case for Banning Wildlife-Killing Contests”
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