This weekend in Harney County the Oregon Farm Bureau is sponsoring a coyote killing contest. This is promoted as killing “dogs” for fun and prizes.
To kill for the “fun” of killing goes against all logic. While coyotes are predators, the have an important role in keeping rodents and other small animals in check. Their role in keeping the ecosystem in balance is an important one. While one of the excuses for getting rid of coyotes is they attack livestock, they are generally more guilty for attacking small family pets, mostly in urban areas.
Wholesale killing disrupt family units and scientists say that forces the animals to breed more to make up for the disruption. It also creates the idea, particularly in children, that lives are not valued and animals are disposable.
These contests also put non-targeted wildlife, livestock, pets, and even people at risk.
Oregon should follow California and Vermont in passing legislation banning killing contests.