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2019-20 NM Hunting Rules

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Bill to ban coyote killing contests passes first committee

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new law is making its way through the Roundhouse that would make it illegal to organize or participate in coyote killing contests.

The inspiration behind this bill came after the sponsors heard reports of people leaving behind dead coyotes without regard after a contest.

“There was news reports of coyotes just been dumped in the middle of the desert. Dozens of coyotes just shot and left out in the desert to bake in the sun,” said Sen. Mark Moores, (R) Albuquerque. “And it just sent a bad message for all of New Mexico that we’re going to allow this.”

The bill would make it illegal for someone to organize, sponsor, arrange, hold or participate in coyote killing contests for prizes or for entertainment. People in favor of these contests said it helps with coyote overpopulation and with protecting livestock. Supporters of the ban said these contests are cruel.

“I think it would send a great message about the state of New Mexico,” said Sen. Jeff Steinborn, (D) Las Cruces. “We would be the second state in the country to outlaw these killing competitions and to a place like the Land of Enchantment, where we’re trying to build an outdoor economy—we celebrate our natural life here and our culture—that it would send a message that we don’t support an inhumane treatment of animals.”

The bill passed its first committee hearing this morning. The law would not change the coyote’s status as an unprotected animal that can be killed without a license.

The Legislative Finance Committee said in 2015, more than 55 coyotes were intentionally killed with guns.

In January, the state’s Land Commissioner signed an executive order banning killing contests on state land.

Senators Moores and Steinborn have tried to pass this bill before, but it was postponed indefinitely in the 2017 session.

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