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OR Lawmakers to Consider Ban on Coyote-Killing Contests

Oregon'a coyote population is estimated to be around 300,000. (David K/Flickr)
Oregon'a coyote population is estimated to be around 300,000. (David K/Flickr)
January 31, 2020

SALEM, Ore. - Oregon lawmakers are trying again to ban coyote-hunting contests.

In 2019, Oregon Senators passed a bill to end coyote-killing tournaments, but it died in the House. The practice came under scrutiny last year after the Humane Society captured video of one of these contests in Burns.

The legislation sparked fierce criticism from Republicans, who say it's an example of Democrats not understanding the rural Oregon lifestyle. Proponents of the bill, like director Lora Meisner of the Salem-based Coalition Advocating for Animals, say the contests are cruel.

"We have so much violence, and it's bad enough with all the violence against people, but there's just so much unnecessary violence even against animals in our society, that this just really goes against the grain for at least most Oregonians," says Meisner.

Under the bill, violators who participate in coyote-killing contests for prizes would be punished with a maximum fine of $2,000.

Meisner notes the bill strictly deals with contest killing - not animals that disturb livestock.

"This is not going to have anything to do with any of our state laws or regulations where people can go and hunt some coyotes that have been preying on their spring lambs, or hunt coyotes that have been nuisance on their property and going after their pets, or something like that," says Meisner.

Some other states across the country have banned or are considering bans on coyote-killing tournaments. California outlawed the practice in 2014.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR