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Oregon Becomes Ninth State to Prohibit Wildlife Killing Contests

September 2023

In wildlife killing contests participants compete for cash and prizes to kill the most, the largest and the smallest coyotes and other vital wildlife within a specified time period. 


BEND, OR – Today at a hearing in Bend, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission unanimously voted to prohibit wildlife killing contests for coyotes and other species classified as unprotected mammals in the state. A coalition of 22 local and national wildlife and conservation organizations and hunters, wildlife management professionals, scientists, veterinarians, and advocates across Oregon submitted testimony in support. Oregon is now the ninth state to end these gruesome competitions.

"Today the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife sent a strong message that they will no longer tolerate cruel and wasteful treatment of their state’s wildlife." said Renee Seacor, carnivore conservation advocate for Project Coyote. “During an extinction crisis, with wildlife populations around the world plummeting, indiscriminate killing of wildlife for prizes is ethically indefensible, ecologically reckless and runs counter to sound 21st century wildlife management."

In wildlife killing contests participants compete for cash and prizes to kill the most, the largest and the smallest coyotes and other vital wildlife within a specified time period.

More scientific studies find that these contests do not reduce coyote numbers or prevent conflicts with livestock, and may even increase them. Instead, more economical and effective methods are available to help Oregon farmers coexist with native wildlife.

“Wildlife killing contests are abhorred by the Oregon public and have no place in our state,” said Kelly Peterson, Oregon state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “Engaging in wanton waste of a native wildlife species as part of a contest for prizes is abhorrent and we are grateful that the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to end these cruel, gruesome competitions.”

Organizations that supported the proposed rule included the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Animal Welfare Institute, Bitterbrush Broads & Bros Leadership Team, Cascadia Wildlands, Center for Biological Diversity, Central Oregon LandWatch, Endangered Species Coalition, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, Humane Voters Oregon, Lark Ranch Rescue and Rehabilitation, National Wolfwatcher Coalition, Northeast Oregon Ecosystems, Oregon Humane Society, Oregon Wild, Portland Audubon, Predator Defense, Project Coyote, Think Wild, Western Environmental Law Center, Western Watersheds Project and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust.

Oregon becomes the ninth state to ban wildlife killing contests, following Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Vermont and Washington. In June, the New York state legislature passed a bill to end wildlife killing contests. The legislation now awaits the governor’s signature.

Project Coyote, a national non-profit organization headquartered in Northern California, is a coalition of scientists, educators, conservationists, and community leaders promoting compassionate conservation and coexistence between humans and wildlife through education, science, and advocacy.text

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