As a constituent, I am grateful to Rep. Brad Witt for introducing HB 2728, legislation to ban coyote killing contests.
It is a reasonable, commonsense measure to prohibit an irresponsible and wasteful practice that has no place in Oregon. In these cruel coyote killing contests, participants vie for cash and prizes for killing the heaviest or largest coyotes or most coyotes over a certain time-period.
When it comes to wildlife, Oregonians—whether they live in urban or rural areas—do not tolerate practices that they view as pointless, unsporting, or wasteful. We can support hunting as a tradition and establish restrictions on irresponsible practices, because our wildlife isn’t owned by the small percentage of people who participate in these competitions. Wildlife, including coyotes, belong to all the citizens of the state.
Oregon’s hunters and wildlife management professionals have spoken in support of this legislation not only because the events are scientifically unsound, but also because they are damaging the reputation of hunters and jeopardizing Oregon’s longstanding hunting traditions.
The bill would not limit opportunities to hunt coyotes or prevent ranchers and landowners from using lethal control to protect their livestock or property from specific coyotes. Rather, it would simply outlaw competitions that offer prizes for an animal’s life.
Thank you again Representative Witt for championing this important legislation.