New York Ends Wildlife Killing Contests

State becomes the 10th in the U.S. to ban inhumane competitions for killing native wildlife

On December 22, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law critical legislation, A.2917/S.4099, to end wildlife killing contests for coyotes, foxes, bobcats, squirrels, raccoons, crows, and other species statewide. Championed by Assemblymember Deborah Glick (D-66) and Sen. Timothy Kennedy (D-63), this law prohibits events during which contestants compete to kill the most, the heaviest, and the smallest animals for cash and prizes. New York is now the 10th U.S. state to ban these cruel competitions.

Killing contests make a cruel and shameful “game” of inflicting misery and death on wildlife. The contests are designed to reduce native wildlife populations, often at the behest of farmers and ranchers, by making killing “fun” with prizes for various categories of carnage.

Scientific studies have found that these contests do not reduce wildlife populations long-term or prevent conflicts with farmed animals and may even increase them. Instead, non-lethal, economical, and effective methods are available to help New Yorkers coexist with native wildlife.

This legislation was supported by leading animal protection organizations including the Animal Legal Defense Fund, as well as conservation groups, farmers, veterinarians, wildlife rehabilitators, and thousands of New Yorkers.

New York joins Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Vermont, Washington, and most recently, Oregon in banning killing contests.

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