California Fish and Game Commission Bans Prize Hunts for Predators

California Fish and Game Commission Bans Prize Hunts for Predators

With 4 to 1 vote by the California Fish and Game Commission, Wednesday witnessed the first ban in the country against the rural tradition of giving prizes for shooting coyotes and other predators.

Wildlife advocates are quite happy that the commission has finally put an end to the fierce debate over this practice. As per the advocates, these predator killing contests are organized almost every month in California and nearby other states.

Camilla Fox, the executive director of Project Coyote, which petitioned the state to end the contests, affirmed that the ruling has set a benchmark for other states.

"Our hope is that other states will follow suit and ban wildlife killing contests. Such barbaric cruelty should not be accepted or tolerated in the 21st century or in a nation that has banned such practices as dog fighting and cock fighting", said Fox.

As per the ruling, it will be completely illegal to offer a prize, inducement or reward for killing whales, including coyotes, foxes and bobcats. It shall however, be noted that the ruling does not stop hunters from simply shooting the whales on sight.

Now, the next aim of wildlife advocates is to encourage the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to set a number for the hunting of predators. Fox said that there is a need to start a comprehensive review and also, to change California's predator policies, regulations and statutes, which have not been done for quite a long time.

The campaign to put an end to the heinous practice started when the campaigners came to know about a three-day Coyote Drive, which is organized each February in the woodlands around the rural town of Adin, California.

Many other incidents also occurred and then the petition was filed. Ranchers affirmed they need to manage coyotes also.