New Mexico: Ban Wildlife Killing Contests

  • by: alicia graef
  • recipient: Governor Susana Martinez, New Mexico Legislature

Earlier this month wildlife advocates won a historic victory when California became the first state in the nation to ban wildlife killing contests. Now ten conservation organizations have turned their attention to New Mexico in hopes of making it the next state to shut down these barbaric events forever.

Wildlife advocates began tracking these contests two years ago and have found that New Mexico is one of the worst states in the U.S. for wild animals when it comes to seeing them as living targets to be killed for entertainment.

According to Wildlife Conservation Advocacy Southwest, at least 17 wildlife-killing contests were held in the state between August 2013 and July 2014, but the organization believes that's only the "tip of the iceberg" because many aren't widely publicized. 

While these competitions are held under the guise of wildlife management, or predator control, wildlife advocates and scientists argue that they’re not only cruel, but counter to the goal of reducing conflicts with “nuisance” animals and that the indiscriminate killing of predators also ignores the valuable role they play in maintaining healthy ecosystems.

Sadly, many of the wild animals who are targeted in these events, including coyotes and prairie dogs, are left without legal protection and can be killed year round in unlimited numbers.

Now, thanks in part to the public’s reaction and those who continue to speak out on behalf of species targeted in these disgraceful events, things are starting to change.

Please help keep up the momentum by signing this petition asking New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and the state's legislature take a stand for wildlife by banning wildlife killing contests in the state for good.

As someone who is concerned with issues surrounding animal welfare and wildlife, I was beyond thrilled to learn about a historic vote by California's Fish and Game Commission that banned wildlife killing contests throughout the state. Now I am writing to urge you to make New Mexico the next state to do the same.  

Following a recent analysis by conservation organizations, it would appear that New Mexico has taken a shameful lead in the U.S. as a host for contests that turn wild animals into living targets for the amusement and personal gain of those who participate.

It's clear that these contests are not about wildlife management or even hunting, but about glorifying the senseless killing of wild animals for fun and personal gain. If those who participate in these contests were really interested in working towards balancing wildlife or protecting livestock, these contests and the the mass slaughter that ensures would not be taking place.

It's also disappointing that species who are a popular targets, including coyotes and prairie dogs, remain pitifully unprotected and can be senselessly killed year round in unlimited numbers.

Regardless of the species involved in these types of contests, those who continue to participate and support this culture of violence are completely ignoring the inherent value of the wild animals they're so bent on destroying.

I sincerely hope that you will put an end to these barbaric events for good and take steps to ensure that wildlife management decisions in the future are based solely on the best available science, not on the whims of a special interest group.

Update #12 years ago
Thank you all for speaking up on behalf of New Mexico's wildlife! New legislation, SB 268, has been introduced by Senator Jeff Steinborn and Senator Mark Moores that would make coyote killing contests illegal in the state, and it's already passed its first hurdle. It's now more important than ever to show our support, so please help by sharing this petition and spreading the word!
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