New Mexico Senate OKs ban on coyote killing contests

SANTA FE, N.M. — The New Mexico Legislature has taken a step toward outlawing coyote killing contests for prizes or entertainment, without placing restrictions on hunting or trapping the animals.

The state Senate voted 26-15 on a bill that would make it illegal to organize, sponsor or participate in a coyote killing contest. The initiative now moves to the House, where lawmakers debated a similar bill in 2013 for two hours before voting it down.

Ranchers and outfitters from across the state say the contests are a tool for managing packs of coyotes that threaten cattle and sheep. Supporters of the legislation called the practice barbaric and ineffective in the long run.

Republican Rep. and bill sponsor Mark Moores of Albuquerque estimates that at least 32 contests were held over the past year.

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