STOP the February 2016 Holbrook AZ Coyote Killing Contest

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Dear Mr. Whiting, District III Supervisor Navajo County AZ: AZ citizens are crying out to you to put a stop to coyote and wildlife killing contest.   There is a KILLING CONTEST scheduled in Holbrook AZ on February 19, 2016. We are counting on you to stop this barbaric contest! Coyote-killing contests are conducted for profit, entertainment, prizes, and simply for the “fun” of killing. In December 2014, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to close the loopholes that allowed the killing of wildlife for prizes and inducements – becoming the first in the nation to ban the practice for coyotes, foxes, bobcats and other species. Arizona should follow California’s lead. Although these "contestants" are not permitted to lure coyotes with distress calls of pups or wounded prey, most contests do just that. This practice places coyotes at an even greater and unfair disadvantage.  No evidence exists showing that indiscriminate killing contests serve any effective wildlife management function. Coyote populations that are not exploited (e.g. hunted or trapped) form stable “extended family” social structures that naturally limit populations through defense of territory and the suppression of breeding by subordinate female members of the family group. Indiscriminate killing of coyotes disrupts this social stability resulting in increased reproduction and pup survival.  Coyotes have been shown to provide ecosystem services that benefit humans, including the control of rodents and rabbits which compete with domestic livestock for forage and which are associated with diseases such as plague, hantavirus, tularemia and Lyme disease.  Coyote-killing contests perpetuate a culture of violence and send the message to children that life has little value and that an entire species of animals is disposable. Coyote-Killing contests put non-target wildlife, companion animals, and people at risk. A ban on coyote-killing contests in Arizona will not restrict the ability to protect property including livestock, will not undermine 2nd Amendment gun ownership rights, nor will it limit hunting in any other way. Mr. Whiting, DO THE RIGHT THING!  Put a stop to these disgusting events starting in Holbrook. Respectfully, Linda Bolon | AZ State Representative Project Coyote 623-202-1816