SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Legislation aimed at banning coyote-hunting competitions in New Mexico has cleared its first legislative hurdle.
The majority of the Senate Conservation Committee gave the bill a do-pass recommendation during a packed hearing Thursday. The measure must win approval from two more committees before reaching the Senate floor for a vote.
The bill sponsored by Democrat Sen. Jeff Steinborn of Las Cruces would outlaw coyote-killing contests after a number of recent competitions drew anger from animal rights advocates. The bill would not prevent landowners from hunting the predators on their property.
Ranchers and outfitters from around the state argued that the contests can be a tool for managing packs of coyotes that threaten cattle and sheep.
Supporters of the legislation called the practice barbaric and questioned whether there were any scientific benefits.