This bill would prohibit the random killing of foxes, coyotes, or raccoons in organized wildlife killing contests, where the sole purpose of the event is to kill the largest number of animals possible, often for cash or guns. The bodies of these animals are usually left or discarded, leaving their young to starve.
Although some have argued that these contests are a way to control the population of these animal species, science does not back that up. The Chairman of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission cited the contests as “counterproductive” and that they can have the opposite effect of reducing populations, as the animals increase reproduction to compensate for the sudden slaughter of a large number of animals in an area.
The public generally opposes killing of animals unless they are legitimately being used for food, fur, or responsible species management that is recommended by the Department of Natural Resources. Many hunters eschew the contests because they feel that they are “unsportsmanlike” and do not follow the principles of responsible hunting. In September, Washington became the seventh state, joining Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Vermont, to make these contests illegal.
Maryland does not want to be known as a state where images of these cruel contests with piles of dead foxes, coyotes, and raccoons are broadcast far and wide on social media. Let’s make 2021 the year that Maryland says NO to these cruel contests.
Please contact your legislators and tell them that you SUPPORT SB 200/HB 293!
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Maryland Votes for Animals, Inc.