Wildlife killing contests banned in the state of Colorado

Yvonne O'Halloran

On April 30th, the Colorado Park and Wildlife Commission voted to ban wildlife-killing contests in the state. Colorado is the sixth state in the US to ban the cruel practice.

Wildlife killing contests are organised events where participants compete to kill wild animals and in return prizes are given to those who slaughter the most/largest animals.

The new law will that will stop these cruel contests will come into effect on June 30th this year. This ban prohibits killing contests that target species including mink, pine marten, badger, red fox, gray fox, swift fox, striped skunk, western spotted skunk, beaver, muskrat, long-tailed weasel, short-tailed weasel, coyote, bobcat, opossum, ring-tailed cat and raccoon, as well as the Wyoming ground squirrel. Species also include white-tailed, black-tailed and Gunnison’s prairie dogs.

Colorado joins five other states — California, Vermont, New Mexico, Arizona and Massachusetts — that have taken a stand against cruel, unsporting and wasteful wildlife-killing contests. California banned the awarding of prizes for killing furbearing and non-game mammals in 2014; New Mexico and Vermont outlawed coyote-killing contests in 2019 and 2018, respectively; and Arizona and Massachusetts prohibited killing contests that target predator and furbearer species in late 2019.

Wildlife-killing contests are a bloodsport just like dogfighting and cockfighting, which have been outlawed nationwide,” said Camilla Fox, founder and executive director of Project Coyote. “We commend Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the commission for relegating these ecologically and ethically indefensible events to the history books.”

The state of Colorado previously banned the contests in 1997. According to The Humane Society of the United States, a legal loophole allowed csome killing contests to continue.

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