They're called "killing contests." And these heartbreaking, disturbing tournaments are just what you'd expect -- competitions to see which hunter is the most effective at spilling blood and butchering the largest number of animals possible.Sign the petition to demand Virginia state legislators re-introduce and pass House Bill 1247 to ban these sadistic mass-killing "games."
In Virginia, a particular event
called the Eastern U.S. Predator Calling Championship takes this basic, gruesome concept to even worse heights.
According to several undercover investigations by the Humane Society of the United States, this Championship contest awards teams prizes for killing the smallest, heaviest, or most number of animals in any given species category. Those prizes include straight-up trophies, belt buckles, and even $25,600 for "winners."
This year's winner was a team of three men who shot and killed 38 coyotes. As many as 127 other teams competed... just in 2022's contest alone. In total, the teams butchered at least 590 coyotes and dozens of foxes. The littlest fox slaughtered during the tournament was a slight 6.8 pounds, which is the size of a very small house cat or little dog.
Many times, these innocent wildlife were gunned down with AR-15s. One investigator said it left critters' "brains blown out or their guts hanging out." At the end of the killing spree, trucks that were filled with dead and rotting animals lined up to present their killings. Judges then counted and weighed the hunters' "takings." And all of this was done with a shocking callousness and mirth.
As Mark Keam, representative for the 35th District of Virginia in the state's House of Delegates, has said: these blood sport events are "just purely gratuitous violence."
They don't even have any clear wildlife management benefits.Yet the Virginia House subcommittee on National Resources did not vote to move forward with a bill that would prohibit these stomach-churning events. That's why we're amplifying the voices of animal lovers and the Humane Society who want justice. Urge Virginia lawmakers to re-introduce this bill and pass it now!
Animals' lives depend on it.