As ridiculous as it sounds, many states in the US still allow hunting competitions where participants compete for prizes and awards by killing wild animals.
Fortunately, more are starting to realize the ethical and environmental concerns of such outdated events, with Washington recently becoming the seventh state to ban such contests with the purpose of protecting wildlife.
Washington now joins California, Vermont, Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, and New Mexico in implementing a ban on hunting competitions. The decision means that residents and guests of Washington are not allowed to kill wildlife for competitions, permitting only a limited number of coyotes and other wild animals to be hunted.
The contests are typically justified as necessary for population control, but as Kitty Block, CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, explains: “These competitions that feature piles of animal carcasses are not only cruel and unsporting, but they are also at odds with science.”
Block argues that population control should be left to nature and that lethal means to regulate human-wildlife conflicts are not effective. “Wild carnivores like coyotes and foxes regulate their own numbers, and the mass killing of these animals does not prevent conflicts with livestock, people, or pets.”