killing is not a game: keep slaughter contests out of ontario

With the federal election in full swing, this is a tough time for any group in Canada trying to gain attention to a local cause. Bad timing, plus the usual dollops of fear and ignorance, may lead Ontario to legalize a disgusting practice that makes a game out of animal slaughter.

Coyote-killing contests - which apparently take place in this province but are illegal - may soon openly flourish. Ontario is considering legalizing coyote-kill contests, and - I've just learned - the period for public comment ends this Monday, April 11. It only takes a moment to click and send a letter to Dalton McGuinty opposing such idiocy.

From an email from the Humane Society International Canada:
Killing animals is not a game. That's why coyote contest kills are illegal in Ontario. But not only do they go on here with a vengeance, now, instead of protecting wildlife, the provincial government is considering making these contests legal.

Unbelievably, Minister of Natural Resources Linda Jeffrey -- who was "absolutely" opposed to the killing -- now says she'll consider endorsing the contests. The laws regulating these contests will be reviewed by the government following a public comment period that ends April 11.

Please contact Premier McGuinty by April 11 and ask him to keep the contests illegal. . . .

In these contests, winners take home a pile of cash for killing the most or biggest animals. It isn't unusual for several hundred coyotes to be killed in a 3 or 4 day event. Instead of teaching the community that we should treasure wildlife, contest kills send the message that entire species of animals are disposable.

Coyote killers claim they're protecting livestock, but other ways exist to protect livestock from coyotes such as electric fencing, strobe lights, and guard animals -- including dogs and llamas -- who integrate very well into livestock herds. Killing coyotes for cash and kicks isn't one of them.

Please click and sign.


Northern Girl said...

How horrible. I've sent an e-mail to Pmr McGuinty, and will forward.

Ferdzy said...

Laura, did you by any chance read my most recent blog post? I interviewed a sheep farmer who notes that there are lots of coyotes around him but they don't bother the sheep. He'd be very sorry to have the local pack killed, because then another pack would move into the territory - and *they* might be sheep-killers. I don't know what he would do then, but when even sheep farmers think things are more complicated than just going out and killing coyotoes, you have to wonder...

laura k said...

I don't know what he would do then, but when even sheep farmers think things are more complicated than just going out and killing coyotoes, you have to wonder...

Indeed! Thanks Ferdzy, very interesting. I'll check out the interview.

NG, I'm glad you'll email - and glad you told me. I never know if these kinds of posts do anything (I figure they can't hurt), so it's good to hear.

johngoldfine said...

Natural resource agencies ought to be managing predators with more sophistication than with kill-contests.

If we want to extirpate complete populations of large mammal predators (and prey), god knows we have the ugly history to prove we can. But we don't or shouldn't, for lots of good reasons, but finding a reasonable balance won't happen if people think coyotes/wolves/cougars are pure evil and a shooting gallery is the proper response to their existence.

The only thing I can imagine nastier than a kill-contest is allowing leghold traps. Or, shit, training dogs to kill bears--that's bad, very bad.

Personally, I don't like coyotes at all. They killed a friend's dog and were on the way to killing one of mine before I drove them off. But I like the idea that they are out there and certainly don't want their future simply left to the yahoos, whether the yahoos carry guns or ministerial portfolios.

impudent strumpet said...

There's such thing as guard llamas??? I want a guard llama!!! #LeastImportantThing

laura k said...

It is a pretty cool thought. Llamas are tough cookies. After all, they are camelids - famous for not taking any shit!