New York’s wildlife gained new protections as Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation S.4099/A.2917 banning certain types of competitions that allow for the killing of large numbers of wildlife for prizes, incentives, or entertainment.

The new law will especially help protect several animals often hunted for prizes, such as rabbits, squirrels, crows, and coyotes. The law does not ban other types of hunting or fishing that are heavily regulated by the state, such as for white-tailed deer, bears, and turkeys, but it does help protect the state’s biodiversity by preventing wasteful taking of certain types of wildlife.

“The indiscriminate, inhumane killing of our shared wildlife in exchange for cash prizes is a waste of life, and I am proud that New York State is taking the lead in outlawing these contests,” New York State Senator Tim Kennedy said in a press release.

Assembly member Deborah Glick added, “The wildlife of New York is a natural resource that should be protected, not brutally killed for cash.”

With the new law, it is now illegal for an individual 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.” Additionally, any wildlife that is killed during such activities will now become the property of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

New York is now the 10th state to adopt such laws — and you helped make this happen!

Thank you to all who signed our petition to outlaw these wildlife competitions in New York!

And thank you Governor Hochul for passing legislation that acknowledges the state’s wildlife as an important ecological resource and helps protect them from exploitation for entertainment and profit.