Cheers to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham who earlier this month made New Mexico the third state in the nation to ban coyote-killing contests.

When it takes effect July 1, New Mexico will join California and Vermont as states with active bans on coyote-killing contests. Arizona’s Game and Fish Commission has also proposed a ban on contests that give prizes for killing the most predatory and fur-bearing animals.

Animal killing contests, which target wildlife such as squirrels, coyotes, bobcats, foxes, raccoons, crows, prairie dogs and even wolves for prizes and fun, are particularly merciless acts of animal abuse.

Proponents of such contests, typically the ranching community, will say that they are saving doomed cattle and sheep from “varmints” and doing what is necessary to keep wildlife populations in check.

New York could be the next state to ban wildlife killing contests thanks to legislation being sponsored by Senator Monica Martinez and Assemblymember Deborah Glick. The bill, S04253, has been referred to the Environmental Conservation Committee. If you live in New York call or email your state senators and assemblymembers and tell them to support S04253. You can find your state senators here.   Find your Assemblymember here or by calling (518) 455-4218.

Learn more about the groundswell of opposition to animal killing contests here.