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This bill would prohibit the random killing of mammals as defined in the HB 863 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. Similar legislation has passed in New Mexico and Vermont in 2018, and California in 2014. New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Arizona are considering bills to make these cruel contests illegal.
Although some have argued that these contests are a way to control populations of these animals, 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 such a large number of animals in an area.
The general 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.
Let’s send the message that Maryland does not want to be known as a state where we allow these wasteful killing contests. We do not want the images of piles of dead foxes or rows of decaying coyotes to be broadcast far and wide on social media.
Thank you again for being an advocate for Maryland’s animals. Remember, Maryland Votes for Animals, Inc. can only succeed with the help of animal advocates like you. Please consider making a donation to Maryland Votes for Animals at voteanimals.org/donate now, so we can continue fighting for Maryland animals.
Maryland Votes for Animals, Inc.