UPDATE (1/9/2024): Governor Kathy Hochul signed this important legislation, making it unlawful to “organize, sponsor, conduct, promote or participate in any contest, competition, tournament or derby with the objective of taking or hunting wildlife for prizes, inducement or entertainment.” We applaud Governor Hochul for passing this bill and thank all who signed our petition to support this legislation to protect animals. –Lady Freethinker Staff


It’s time to rally for New York’s wildlife by urgently and respectfully urging New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that would end cruel wildlife killing contests by Nov. 1.

New York is poised to become the 10th state to ban cruel wildlife killing contests, where animals are indiscriminately massacred by participants looking for “thrills” or to cash in on prizes, according to undercover investigations by the Humane Society of the United States and Lady Freethinker.

The state currently hosts at least 29 contests annually, where numerous species — including foxes, squirrels, bobcats, coyotes, crows, woodchucks, and even rabbits — are lured in with fake distress calls or bait and then gunned down with high-powered rifles. Participants also are allowed to use other technology, including thermal imaging and night vision, to hunt down and kill the defenseless animals.

Recognizing the inherent cruelty of this glamorized killing, the NY State legislature has passed the bill, which now only awaits Gov. Kathy Hochul’s signature to become law.

It’s more urgent now than ever that animal advocates show their support for an end to these gruesome contests, said the National Coalition to Ban Wildlife Killing Contests.

While Hochul has until Dec. 31 to enact the legislation, the Coalition — of which Lady Freethinker is a part —  hopes she signs by Nov. 1.

That’s because the bill’s effective date is designated as the first Nov. 1 after passage. If Hochul signs on Dec. 31, then the state’s killing contests in January and February 2024 will still be permitted.

But if she signs by Nov. 1, no animals will die in these gruesome massacres next year — heralding in a new and more compassionate era for NY wildlife.

The Coalition encourages people to take immediate action by snail mailing a letter in support of the killing contest ban (also known as A0219 and S04099) to Gov. Hochul at the following address:

The Honorable Kathy Hochul
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

It’s especially important for New York residents and people with personal connections to New York to write in now and to clearly message at the beginning of the letter that they are residents.

To learn more about killing contests or to grab some important talking points for your letter, please visit the Humane Society’s website here.  Then, if you haven’t already, please sign our petition here!

SIGN: Stop Cruel Wildlife Killing Contests in New York!