PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Contests, where hunters compete to see who can kill the most coyotes or other predators, could soon be banned in Arizona.
The contests are put on by private companies, with participants often paying to enter. The winner often receives a cash prize or other reward.
Animal rights groups have long criticized them.
“I think the contests are, well, I think they’re pathetic and grotesque,” said Matt Francis, an animal rights activist with the organization Project Coyote. “I don’t think it’s indicative of a civilized society to be doing this.”
Hunting coyotes and other predators is in part how the state keeps these populations in check. But one Arizona Game and Fish commissioner says it may be time for the killing contests to go.
“Hunting is a very important part of managing wildlife, but there’s also an ethos related to how you pursue wildlife,” said Arizona Game and Fish Commissioner Kurt Davis.
Davis proposed a rule that would ban these predator killing contests in Arizona. He says the premise of competing for prizes and racking up as many animals as possible seems to go against the hunting ethos.
“There are things that people…from a social standpoint have difficulty with,” Davis said.
The commissioners have until the end of June to decide on the rule change.