Cheers to California’s Fish and Game Commission who voted unanimously Feb. 5 to consider a ban on hunting contests such as this weekend’s secretive coyote drive in Modoc County, with one commissioner labelling such contests unethical.
The 4-0 vote launches a formal rule-making process, during which public comment will be solicited as the commission considers a ban on such contests in California.
Project Coyote proposed the ban to the commission and director Camilla Fox told commissioners, “This is obviously not about sport of fair chase. Wildlife killing contests are conducted for profit, entertainment, prizes and simply, for the ‘fun’ of killing. No evidence exists showing that such indiscriminate killing contests control problem animals or serve any beneficial management function.”
The killing contest planned in Modoc County (and surrounding counties as the contest is not geographically limited) in Northern California also poses a significant threat to the recovery of gray wolves in California. This region is where the gray wolf known as OR-7 (aka “Journey”) has been known to range and coyote killing contests like the Adin "Coyote Drive" are a threat to his safety and the safety of any other un-collared wolves who may roam the area.
Friends of Animals is currently working with legislators to make animal killing contests illegal in New York.
Last year, Friends of Animals mobilized supporters and took to the streets to protest the “Squirrel Slam” killing contest in Holley, N.Y, disguised as a fundraiser for the fire department, and released a mini documentary detailing its efforts. The video also draws attention to Senate Bill # 4074 and Assembly Bill # 03661 that would ban animal killing contests in New York.
This year the bloodbath is slated for Feb. 22, and Friends of Animals will lead a protest from 4:30 to 6 p.m. outside the Holley Fire Department located at 7 Thomas St., where hunters will bring dead squirrels to be weighed to claim prizes.
“Animal killing contests like the shocking ‘Squirrel Slam’ held in Holley, N.Y. for the past eight years have no place in a civilized society, therefore, I strongly support passage of Senate Bill # 4074 to outlaw these killing contests,” New York state Sen. Tony Avella said. “At Friends of Animals’ urging, this is the second year I’ve pressed the Holley Fire Department to cancel the controversial ‘Squirrel Slam’ in favor of a less violent way of raising money. Children as young as 12 should not be encouraged to shoot squirrels to win prizes. That practice is similar to bounty hunting. Killing contests like the ‘Squirrel Slam’ provide an incentive to children and adults to shoot many animals to win prizes— a disturbing, irrational activity that’s out-of-pace with New York culture and must end throughout the state.”
To let commissioners know you oppose California’s wildlife killing contests, sign this petition or write to:
Director Charlton H. Bonham
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
1416 Ninth Street, 12th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
California Fish and Game Commission
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090