Last month, the Humane Society of the United States released footage from their undercover investigation of the Oregon Farm Bureau's Young Farmers & Ranchers 1st Annual Coyote Hunting Tournament in Burns, Oregon, showing participants dragging coyotes they had killed across a parking lot, slinging them into a truck bed, and joking about the methods used to kill them.
You now have a chance to help stop this cruelty. At 8:30 a.m. this Thursday, February 28, the Oregon Senate Committee on Judiciary will have a hearing on Senate Bill 723-2, which would ban coyote killing contests in Oregon. (The "-2" refers to amendments that will be offered, which we support, to limit the bill to coyotes, because they have the most immediate need for help and because the bill otherwise could impact activities it was not intended to reach.)
Here's what you can do:
• Send an email to the Committee before the hearing at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments in support of SB 723-2. All you need to write is something like, "I am an Oregon resident, and I ask that you please support SB 723-2 to ban coyote killing contests in our state." (It's always best to use your own words.)
• Contact members of the Senate Committee on Judiciary directly and urge them to support SB 723-2. If one of them is your senator, be sure to note that in your comments. Go here to see who is on the Committee and get links to their email addresses. Go here to see who your senator is.
• Contact you senator and representative and urge them to support SB 723-2. Go here to see who your senator and representative are. If they are not on the Committee they won't vote on the bill until the Committee votes to move the bill forward, but we hope that will happen soon and their interest could help influence action by the Committee.
• Testify at the hearing, which will be in Hearing Room C at the Oregon State Capitol, 900 Court St. NE, Salem.
Additional talking points:
• Coyote killing contests are completely at odds with ethical, fair-chase hunting; even Oregon's own Fish and Wildlife Commission Chair, Mike Finley, has publicly condemned these events.
• Studies show that the indiscriminate killing of native carnivores like coyotes will not protect livestock, and will not increase game species. It can even lead to an increase in coyote numbers by disrupting stable family packs, causing more reproduction.
• Recent polling of Oregon voters have found that a solid majority support an end to cruel, unsporting, and ineffective coyote killing contests, and recognize the important role of coyotes in Oregon’s ecosystem.
Go here to see the letter we signed with other groups in support of this bill.
Thanks to Senators Michael Dembrow of Portland and Jeff Golden of Ashland for being chief sponsors of this bill; and to Senator Kathleen Taylor of Portland and Representatives Alissa Keny-Guyer (Portland), Courtney Neron (Tigard area) and Rob Nosse (Portland) for being additional co-sponsors. For additional information about this bill, go here.
Thank you for helping us advocate for animal welfare in Oregon!