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America's wildlife protected on 500m acres

Words by Smiley Team

Wildlife will be protected on more than 500 acres of land, thanks to a new law. 

In April 2022, Congressman Steve Cohen of Tennessee and 15 co-sponsors, including the Center for Biological Diversity, introduced the Prohibit Wildlife Killing Contests Act. The point of the act is to stop wildlife competitions that serve no real purpose, often leading to the deaths of thousands of animals with no real justification beyond contest. 

The legislation would ban this type of hunting across more than 500 million acres of federal land. 

“America’s wildlife all play a special role in the natural ecosystem and killing them for what some deem a ‘sport’ is both cruel and unnecessary,” Congressman Cohen said in a statement. “These contests serve no legitimate wildlife-management purpose and ending them is the right thing to do.”

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The act would require the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, U.S. Fish, and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service to enact regulations on these types of wildlife hunting contests within a year of the legislation passing.

Eight states already have similar laws: Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Vermont, and Washington.

“This is a huge victory for coyotes, bobcats, foxes, mountain lions and all of America’s wild carnivores,” said Stephanie Kurose, a senior policy specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s appalling that these thrill-kill, mass slaughter contests were ever allowed on our public lands. We applaud the leadership of Representative Cohen and other cosponsors for introducing this important legislation, which will protect hundreds of millions of acres of public lands and spare countless wildlife from these ruthless kill fests.”

“Most people are shocked to learn that wildlife killing contests are legal on our public lands,” stated Camilla Fox, executive director of Project Coyote. “Killing animals for prizes and entertainment is ethically indefensible, ecologically reckless, and anathema to sound wildlife conservation and management.”

Project Coyote is a conservation organization based in northern California. Its mission is to promote compassionate conservation and coexistence between people and wildlife through education, science and advocacy. "Our representatives, advisory board members and supporters include scientists, conservationists, educators, ranchers and citizen leaders who work together to change laws and policies to protect native carnivores from abuse and mismanagement, advocating coexistence instead of killing," they say.

The Center for Biological Diversity and Project Coyote are among an estimated 50 animal welfare and conservation organizations that are supporting the passage of this new legislation.

Inspired to act?

SUPPORT: Project Coyote is looking for active supports to help advocate for wildlife. Find out more

DONATE: Consider donating to the Center for Biological diversity – they're on a mission to save endangered species. 

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