Letter to the editor: Senseless slaughter of wildlife must be stopped

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To the editor:

As I sit here, with my dog in my lap, I am reminded that many Hancock County residents recently spent their entire weekend killing his not-so-distant cousin at the Coyote Showdown.

It is shameful that this cruel event continues year after year.

Wildlife killing contests are unsporting and cruel. They violate the hunting principles of fair chase and respect for animals in their habitats.

When these killing contests transpire, their social structure is disrupted. As many hunters claim murdering coyotes is done to help with population control, the opposite is actually true. When their social structure is disrupted by the killing of coyote families, the end result is more breeding and migration. Ultimately resulting in more and more coyotes.

Studies show that coyotes balance out their ecosystem, which is just one more reason why these killing contests should be stopped.

Allowing this blood sport to continue gives hunters a black eye and sends a dangerous message to youth that killing animals is OK and fun. Slaughtering animals for thrills and prizes is out of step with our current understanding of ecosystems and the important role each species plays.

This event should be canceled, as it puts a blot on our community. Unethical, unscientific and ineffective contests do not reflect fair sportsmanship and do not reflect the ethics of my fellow community members.

Rachel Pope

Greenfield