June 30, 2021
Wildlife has a part to play in keeping nature’s ecosystem balanced. When that balance is disrupted by humans who encroach on undeveloped land for residential, commercial, or agricultural purposes and create habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict is inevitable. Sadly, the default solution used by many to prevent future conflicts is death. Some have even created detestable “killing contests” to remove animals seen as a nuisance. These organizers entice participants to kill defenseless creatures with the lure of prizes and cash. Thankfully, lawmakers throughout the U.S. are supporting efforts to stop this inhumane practice.
Take Action: Marylanders, if you believe that wildlife-killings contests are inhumane, please thank Governor Hogan for banning this cruel practice.
Recently, Maryland’s Governor Hogan signed House Bill 296 sponsored by Delegate Dana Stein (D-District 11) to prohibit anyone from “sponsoring, conducting, or participating in” this cruel practice. The law goes into effect on July 1, 2021. Anyone found guilty of violating the law will face a $50 fine for each raccoon, coyote, or fox killed. Individuals who kill an animal on their property will not face a penalty if it is not part of an organized contest. Approved dog training competitions are also exempt. The following states have also enacted restrictions or bans on wildlife-killing contests with varying degrees of penalties: