Bill to ban coyote killing contests heads to governor

New Mexico
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 The New Mexico Legislature is sending a bill to the governor that would ban contests to see who can shoot and kill the most coyotes.

The House voted 37-30 on Tuesday to endorse the bill from Democratic Sen. Jeff Steinborn of Las Cruces and Republican Sen. Mark Moores of Albuquerque.

Ranchers and outfitters from across the state have argued over the years that the contests are a tool for managing packs of coyotes that threaten livestock. Opponents say the practice is barbaric and ineffective. This year’s bill would make it a misdemeanor crime to organize a contest. Participation would be a petty misdemeanor.

Coyote killing contests were banned on state trust land earlier this year by State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard.

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