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Colorado Is Protecting Its Wildlife from Killing Contests

Paws Up!
May 5, 2020

To Colorado’s Parks and Wildlife Commission for voting favorably to protect its wildlife from senseless killing contests.

Observing wildlife in their natural habitat can evoke a sense of calm, wonder, and even delight to the beholder. Have you ever watched a pair of squirrels scamper around a tree as if they were playing tag? Or have you watched a herd of deer bound across a field? Humans and wildlife have coexisted for centuries, but conflicts have arisen through the degradation of the wildlife’s habitat by humans. In order to help control the wildlife that is displaced, some have organized killing contests. The first organized killing contest took place in Chandler, Arizona, in 1957. These contests encourage senseless, mass killings of sentient beings for prizes or money.

Coyotes are a frequent target for many killing contests. They are viewed as a nuisance due to their tenacity to thrive in any environment. Some research has shown that these mass killings are ineffective and results in coyotes having larger litters to repopulate. Many have opposed these killings, and in 2014 California became the first state to ban wildlife killing contests. Vermont followed in 2018, and then Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Arizona were added in 2019. Recently, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission voted favorably (8-4) to include small game and furbearers to its current ban on wildlife killing contests.


Before this vote, according to the Colorado Revised Statues § 33-6-118, ” It is unlawful for any person to advertise, conduct or offer to conduct, or otherwise promote or participate in any contest or competition involving two or more persons and the monetary payment or awarding of any other prize when the object of the contest or competition involves the killing of any big game or the display for comparison of any big game or any part thereof. Certificates issued by organizations solely for registration and recognition of animals legally taken are not prohibited. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of five hundred dollars and an assessment of twenty license suspension points.”


Take Action: Colorado residents, if you agree that wildlife killing contests should be banned, thank the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission. They are helping to preserve native wildlife. Other U.S. residents, show your support by contacting your State Wildlife Agency, legislator, or news station. Your voice joined with many will help shed light on the many innocent animals harmed for sport.

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