New Mexico has banned contests to see who can shoot and kill the most coyotes.

Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill outlawing the contests Tuesday.

Many New Mexico ranchers and outfitters say the contests are a tool for managing packs of coyotes that threaten livestock, and dozens of killing contests are rumored to take place each year. Opponents say the practice is barbaric and ineffective.

The legislation from Republican Sen. Mark Moores of Albuquerque and Sen. Jeff Steinborn of Las Cruces provides misdemeanor sanctions for people found organizing a contest. Participation in a killing contest is a petty misdemeanor.

The killing contests were banned across thousands of square miles (kilometers) of state trust land this year by New Mexico Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard.