Recently, I wrote an article about five interesting bills awaiting a signature or rejection of five bills in New York State. One of them was just signed into law on Friday, December 22, 2023.

According to a release from the Humane Society of the United States, the bill that was first introduced in February of this year has been signed by New York State Governor Kathy Hochul The bill,- A.2917/S.4099 - Contests, Competitions, Tournaments, and Derbys to Take Wildlife is now law.

This law ends wildlife-killing contests for coyotes, foxes, bobcats, squirrels, raccoons, crows, and other species in New York. According to the Governor's office, this law prohibits competitive events during which contestants compete to kill the most, the heaviest, and the smallest animals for cash and prizes.

New York State joins nine other states to sign such a law into action. According to the Humane Society release, "...the Humane Society of the United States has gone undercover at contests in 10 states, including two in New York. In 2018 and 2020, the HSUS released investigations that exposed wildlife killing contests in Wayne County and Sullivan County. The investigators documented participants hauling in bloody piles of dead foxes and coyotes to be weighed and counted for prizes. Competitors joked about the “thrill” of the kill and threw dead animals into a dumpster. More than 20 killing contests took place across the state in January and February 2023."

After two decades of work by many people and organizations, New York has finally ended the wanton and senseless killing of various species in contests for prizes. I thank Governor Hochul for signing into law a prohibition on this abhorrent practice. Wildlife killing contests may have been viewed as part of a tradition, but with time we understand that the constant stress on the natural world requires us to re-evaluate customs that are undermining healthy ecosystems. At the same time, this measure in no way prevents farmers, ranchers or others from dispatching nuisance animals predating on livestock or companion animals, in accordance with Department of Environmental Conservation regulations. New York becomes the 10th state to eliminate these so-called contests. Assemblymember Deborah Glick 

The Humane Society of the United States noted that during the hunting competitions, the object was to achieve high kill numbers, including using night vision, thermal imaging, and electronic calling devices. Animals are shot with high-powered rifles. Contestants would gather to weigh and count the bodies and take pictures next to the dead animals, which typically would be dumped like trash.

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