Right now, in northeast Washington, a killing contest is underway.
Washington's barbaric yearly contest hunts across the state put coyotes -- and all animals that might be mistaken for coyotes -- at risk. This particular contest hunt is putting endangered wolves in the crosshairs because the killing is happening in an area at least seven of the state's wolf packs call home.
Coyotes are needlessly gunned down in these derbies. Killing coyotes -- or any wild animal -- as part of a contest or tournament is ethically indefensible, ecologically reckless and runs counter to the best available science on the stewardship of Washington's wildlife.
Scientists who study coyotes have found that indiscriminate killing of coyotes actually results in more problems.
If you are able, you can join the Center for Biological Diversity's West Coast Wolf Organizer Amaroq Weiss at the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission hearing in Moses Lake on Saturday morning, March 8 to speak up for wolves and coyotes.
You can also act now to send a letter to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission. Urge them to stop the state's coyote-killing contests.
I am writing to strongly oppose Washington's sanctioning of wildlife-killing contests. Shockingly several such contest hunts or derbies take place in Washington each year -- and one such contest, a coyote derby, is taking place right now in a region where most of Washington's endangered wolf packs call home. This derby places wolves at risk for nearly two months until the contest ends on March 31.
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Such contest hunts are offensive in their wanton killing of wildlife and disregard for the important ecological role coyotes and other predators play in maintaining ecosystem health and species diversity.
It is high time for the Department to conduct a top-to-bottom evaluation of its approach to managing predators in Washington, including a review of current scientific literature and of proven practices that are more likely to yield better outcomes for wildlife, other animals and people.
Please do everything in your power to stop these coyote-killing contests, ensure protections for endangered wolves, and help Washington move toward more responsible and ethical wildlife management.
Thank you for taking my concerns into consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.