If you’ve already submitted comments to the Arizona Game and Fish (AZGF) Commission in support of their proposed rule to ban wildlife killing contests in the state – thank you!
If not, there’s still time to submit your comments. The Commission is accepting public comments on the proposed rule through this Sunday, May 12th.
There is also an opportunity to speak at the Commission’s June 21st meeting in Phoenix. Details below.
Wildlife killing contests are cruel and senseless events where participants compete to kill the greatest number, the largest, the smallest, or even the youngest of the targeted animal for prizes and entertainment. Hundreds of bobcats, coyotes, cougars, foxes, rabbits, badgers and other species are killed in these contests every year in Arizona.
Please write to the Commission TODAY urging them to support the proposed rule to prohibit wildlife killing contests.
Email comments to the Arizona Game and Fish Department:
You may also mail written comments to:
Arizona Game and Fish Department
Attn.: Rules Section
5000 W. Carefree Highway
Phoenix, AZ 85086
You can simply say, “Please adopt a rule change to Article 3, R12-4-303 that bans wildlife killing contests in Arizona. As someone who cares deeply about Arizona’s wildlife, people, and pets, I strongly support this proposed rule and changes to it that will remove loopholes, enhance enforcement, and broaden protections to all unprotected animals. Thank you for considering a ban on these barbaric events.”
To be most effective, we strongly encourage you to personalize your message, expressing why abolishing wildlife killing contests is so important to you.When taking into account the public’s opinion, the Commission sorts comments by original letters and form letters – original, personalized letters will have much more impact.
If you live out of state, you may also submit written comments for the official record but it is especially important to personalize your letter. Consider discussing how you do not wish to spend tourism dollars in a state that allows wildlife killing contests.
Additional Talking Points:
● Banning wildlife killing contests will prevent a small minority of the population from recklessly slaughtering our wild animals for private gain.
● Killing contests are ethically and ecologically indefensible.
● Killing contests are a bloodsport like dogfighting and cockfighting. Killing wildlife for thrills and prizes–with no respect for their intrinsic or ecological value–is senseless violence and waste.
● Killing contests damage the reputation of responsible hunters by violating fundamental hunting ethics – threatening the future of hunting. Countless animals are injured or orphaned during killing contests.The events put non-target species (including imperiled wolves) at risk. Participants use electronic calling devices, which mimic the sounds of prey or young in distress, to lure the target animals in for an easy kill.
● The public will no longer tolerate wildlife killing contests. Six city and county governments in Arizona – Tucson, Dewey-Humboldt, Flagstaff, Coconino County, Pima County, and Yavapai County – have passed resolutions condemning wildlife killing contests. New Mexico banned coyote killing contests in April, and California and Vermont have taken similar actions in recent years.
● There is no scientific evidence that indiscriminately killing wild animals reduces their populations, increases populations of game animals like deer, or protects livestock. Randomly killing coyotes, for example, disrupts their pack structure, which can increase their populations and increase conflicts with coyotes. Preventing conflicts with the use of humane, non-lethal methods is more effective.
● Wild animals play an important ecological role in healthy ecosystems. Native carnivores control rabbit and rodent populations, keep environments free of animal carcasses, and increase biodiversity.
● We do not seek a ban on hunting. We simply call for an end to organized events where participants compete to kill animals for “fun” and prizes.
Learn more about wildlife killing contests here, the scientific reasons behind why killing coyotes doesn’t solve problems here and here, and the National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests here.
Save the date!
You will have an opportunity to speak in support of the proposed rule in June at the Commission’s telephonic meeting. We encourage you to attend – your voice speaks volumes.
What: Arizona Game and Fish Commission Telephonic Meeting
Date: June 21, 2019
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Location: 5000 W. Carefree Hwy., Phoenix, AZ 85086
Thank you for speaking up for the voiceless animals who need your help.