Animal lovers and activities asked Nevada Gaming Commission to clampdown on coyote killing contests and other similar events with cruelty towards animals. They argued that as soon as prize money is removed from these contests, demand will automatically weaken.
Is coyote killing different than fishing?
In most “kill for sport” contests, the player who kills the most animals ends up winning the prize. According to Fred Voltz, this event cannot be compared to a golf tournament or even a fishing derby. He wrote to the commission on behalf of the Humane Society of the United States, No Bear Hunt Nevada, Animal Wellness Action and Nevada Wildlife Alliance.
In his letter to the gaming commissioners of the state, he wrote,
“The Nevada Gaming Commission may not have the authority to ban or denounce the contests; however, the NGC does have the authority to ban the sponsors from offering gaming and Calcutta betting, which is a large component of the contests.”
The gaming commissioners weren’t too sympathetic to the plea, and Voltz went on to say that the Gaming Commission completely ignored the request even though he made the best case. He slammed the commission saying that it is focused only on extending its fundraising capacity for non-profits via gaming-related events. He even said that the commission has completely ignored its responsibility for overseeing gaming activities at sports for kill contests.
Has the commission sparked a controversy?
Coyote killing is prevalent throughout the US and only four states- California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Vermont, prohibit killing contests in their land. With the Gaming Commission’s red light to an oversight on the contests, it has courted controversy as several animal rights activists are barging on to change its approach.
ProjectCoyote.org that even Arizona’s authorities rejected a similar proposal 20 years ago but went on to finally give in on September 2019. It said that people’s attitude towards “insanity” ad “cruelty” at these events is changing and they now feel “disgust” towards such sports. Voltz added that surrounding states had banned the activity because of which people simply flock to Nevada, participate in the sports and go back.
The issue of protecting animals, avoiding animal cruelty contrast directly with the fact that many ranch owners consider them a nuisance. The predators harm their cattle frequently. Activists suggest that money earned via these contests never goes towards conservation. The complexity of the matter may aggravate the issue further.