Oregon Ends Wildlife Killing Contests

Oregon joins eight other states that have banned wildlife killing contests

On Sept. 15, 2023, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously to prohibit wildlife killing contests on public lands for coyotes and other species classified as unprotected mammals in the state. A coalition of 22 local and national wildlife and conservation organizations, as well as wildlife management professionals, scientists, veterinarians, advocates, and even hunters across Oregon submitted testimony in support of the ban. Oregon is now the ninth U.S. state to end these gruesome 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 coyote numbers or prevent conflicts with farmed animals, and may even increase them. Instead, more humane, economical, and effective methods are available to help Oregon farmers coexist with native wildlife.

Organizations that supported the rule included the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Humane Society of the United States, Animal Welfare Institute, Bitterbrush Broads & Bros Leadership Team, Cascadia Wildlands, Center for Biological Diversity, Central Oregon LandWatch, Endangered Species Coalition, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, Humane Voters Oregon, Lark Ranch Rescue and Rehabilitation, National Wolfwatcher Coalition, Northeast Oregon Ecosystems, Oregon Humane Society, Oregon Wild, Portland Audubon, Predator Defense, Project Coyote, Think Wild, Western Environmental Law Center, Western Watersheds Project, and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust.

Oregon follows Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Vermont, and Washington in banning wildlife killing contests. In June, the New York state legislature passed a bill to end wildlife killing contests. That legislation now awaits the governor’s signature.

Sign Up!

Join the Animal Legal Defense Fund's email list to stay up to date on lawsuits, legislation, and regulations affecting animals.

Sign Up Now