Wildlife Killing Contests
Wildlife killing contests are cruel and hazardous, organized events in which participants compete for prizes by attempting to kill the most animals over a certain time period. These contests, which commonly exploit unprotected species such as coyotes and prairie dogs, occur frequently across New Mexico public lands, including U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and State Trust lands, though contest promoters rarely share with the public the locations where the contestants are shooting firearms. The contests frequently offer prizes of cash or firearms to the contestants who kill the most animals or ones of specific size.
These contests are not fair-chase hunting and are opposed by many gun owners and hunters. Besides being cruel and unethical, indiscriminate mass killing is an inefficient and even counter-productive predator management technique. Indiscriminate killing of animals is not recognized as wildlife management by any serious scientific authority and these contests serve no purpose whatsoever to our state. The competitions send the message that life is disposable in New Mexico—it’s beyond time to ban these events that glorify killing for its own sake.
Traps and Poisons
The ongoing cruelty, ecological destruction, risk to public safety, and waste inflicted by steel and other kill traps, snares, and lethal poisons can no longer be justified in New Mexico. More than a dozen local New Mexico governments have passed resolutions in support of banning traps locally and statewide.
The types of traps used in New Mexico—legholds, Conibears and snares—are inhumane and indiscriminate. Because of their non-selectivity, both targeted and non-targeted animals–including family cats and dogs, threatened and endangered species–fall victim to traps. In addition, toxic poisons such as sodium cyanide M-44s and Compound 1080 livestock protection collars are too deadly, dangerous, and indiscriminate to use in our state. These poisons have accidentally killed thousands of non-target wildlife and even people’s pets, resulting in horrific and excruciating deaths which can take as long as 15 traumatic hours and involves cardiac failure, respiratory arrest, and severe prolonged convulsions.