In a fantastic victory for wildlife, Oregon has banned vicious wildlife killing contests, in which participants kill massive numbers of animals for cash and other prizes.
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, which has the authority to regulate hunting, voted to ban the cruel contests. The rule now makes it unlawful to “organize, sponsor, conduct or participate in a contest that has the objective of killing unprotected mammals Native to Oregon.”
Oregon is now the 9th U.S. state to recognize the inherent cruelties of incentivizing and glorifying the killing of native wildlife — joining Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Vermont and Washington.
Five of those additional states passed the bans via their wildlife agencies, while the remaining three passed legislation prohibiting the contests.
A bill that would have banned the contests died four years in the state legislature, so the Commission’s action is welcomed news.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which conducted an undercover investigation at a killing contest in 2018, hailed the victory.
“Wildlife killing contests are abhorred by the Oregon public and have no place in our state,” said Kelly Peterson, the HSUS’s Oregon state director.
The HSUS investigation documented participants joking and laughing as they tossed coyote corpses to the ground. A similar Lady Freethinker investigation into killing contests in Pennsylvania documented similar conditions, including mass numbers of coyotes killed cruelly and indiscriminately, disrespectful handling and disposal of bodies, and a glorification of killing.
During a public commenting period, 22 local and national organizations — as well as veterinarians, scientists, welfare advocates, and even wildlife management agencies and some hunters — spoke up in support of the ban.
Lady Freethinker is grateful that Oregon is now a safer space for coyotes and other animals! If you haven’t already, you can take action for wildlife in other parts of the country by signing our petitions to ban wildlife killing contests in Pennsylvania and New York!