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Bill to Ban Coyote-Killing Contests Passes Key Committee

Coyote killing contest near Burns, Oregon. Photo courtesy of Humane Society of the United States

House Bill 2728, the bill to ban coyote-killing contests, passed out of the Oregon House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources Thursday by a vote of six to four. The bill now goes to the full House of Representatives. Assuming the House votes in favor, the bill then goes to the Oregon Senate for its consideration; then to the Governor for final approval.

Here's what you can do now:

Thank the committee members who voted for the bill: Representatives Brad Witt, Zach Hudson, Pam Marsh, Susan McLain, Jeff Reardon and Anna Williams. Go here for links to their contact information. Special thanks to Representative Witt, the committee chair, who is the chief sponsor of the bill and has tirelessly advocated for it.

Contact your state representative to let your representative know that the bill passed out of committee and is coming to the full House of Representatives for a vote. Ask your representative to vote "yes" on the bill. Go here to find out who your state representative is and to find a link for your representative's contact information. (Type in your address, click on "Find Who Represents Me," then click on the "House" tab.)

Here are a few suggested talking points:

  • By making a game out of killing as many coyotes as possible, coyote-killing contests show a lack of appreciation, respect and compassion for wildlife.

  • Studies show that the indiscriminate killing of native carnivores such as coyotes will not protect farm animals and other wildlife. It can even lead to an increase in coyote numbers by disrupting stable family packs, causing more reproduction. A good article on this topic can be found here.

  • This not an urban vs. rural issue. This is about the state of Oregon and how Oregonians value and treat the public’s wildlife. Conscientious rural residents and ethical hunters agree that coyote-killing contests are cruel and unsporting.

  • Oregon’s wildlife belong to all of us, not just hunters and not just the people living closest to the wildlife.

  • More than nine killing contests have been held in Oregon in recent years, most recently in January 2021 in Southeastern Oregon, where more than 272 coyotes were killed over a two-day period for the chance to win thousands of dollars in cash and prizes (and 400+ coyotes were killed in a similar contest in January 2020).

  • Seven other states have already banned wildlife and/or coyote-killing contests: Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Vermont and Washington. These states have recognized that the contests are cruel and unethical and that they serve no useful purpose.

Thank you for helping us ban coyote-killing contests in Oregon.

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