Because there are no laws in Tennessee protecting amphibians or reptiles from heinous killing contests, the DeKalb County Young Farmers and Ranchers are once again encouraging their peers to murder hundreds of frogs in the name of a fundraiser to create an agricultural scholarship for a DeKalb County student.
“Giggin for Grads” allows participants to go out at night and stab frogs with a sharp, long weapon or pitchfork—a deranged form of hunting called “gigging.” Whoever has the heaviest bag of dead frogs wins the scholarship.
Kirk Miles, the wildlife program manager for Tennessee’s Wildlife Resources Management Agency in DeKalb County confirmed to Friends of Animals’ Campaign Director Edita Birnkrant that “there are no laws addressing cruelty specific to frogs” in Tennessee. The event is perfectly legal and all that’s needed is a hunting license. That’s the root of the problem, and we want it changed—so no more frogs have to suffer a slow, agonizing death from being stabbed.
The only law that exists regarding frogs and killing contests is that firearms cannot be used to kill the frogs. Apparently, anything else goes and is considered legal, including actions that would be considered outright torture. When asked if participants could light frogs on fire with no consequences, Miles admitted that there would be “no charges we could file against someone lighting frogs on fire.”
“Apparently the wildlife management agencies in Tennessee don’t understand the importance of the diversity of animals in an ecosystem,” said Priscilla Feral, FoA’s president. “Instead, because they are wedded to the hunters they make money from, they support activities that desensitize youth to killing animals so they grow up to be licensed hunters in the state of Tennessee.”
We are urging Tennessee residents to contact Governor Bill Haslam and tell him to put a moratorium on animal killing contests until the legislature can debate and consider a ban of animal killing contests in Tennessee. (FoA supports similar legislation was introduced in New York.) Residents should be able to weigh in on animal cruelty issues in their state.
Governor Bill Haslam
1st Floor, State Capitol
Nashville, TN 37243
Phone: (615) 741-2001