HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Humane Society is asking the Pennsylvania Game Commission to outlaw hunting competitions.
“They have no place in modern society,” said Kristen Tullo.
Tullo is the Pennsylvania State Director of the Humane Society of the United States. She says banning hunting contests in Pennsylvania that offer prizes or money to hunt animals is a priority.
“We have more killing contests in our state than any other, behind Texas and Oklahoma, and some of the nation’s largest. There were at least 36 contests last year held in our state,” she said.
Some of the contests are used as fundraisers for local organizations and communities. Hunts can include animals like coyotes, fox, groundhogs squirrels, and birds. Supporters say these contests can help with wildlife management.
According to the PA Game Commission, it does not regulate these contests, but the commission does require that any animal harvested be done so in compliance with the Game and Wildlife Code and the regulations set by the Game Commission Board of Commissioners.
“The parameters for hunting season length, bag limits and other regulations are established by the Game Commission with regard to a particular wildlife resource. Often there are longer seasons and more liberal bag limits for species with stronger populations, or those in need of additional management attention. If hunters comply with all regulations, it helps to ensure wildlife management goals will be met, and all but assures a sustainable resource. So I wouldn’t think contests hurt wildlife management because hunters are complying with regulations,” said a state Game Commission spokesperson.
The Humane Society is still asking the state to step in.
“Participants are touting the ethics of sportsmanship, fair chase, and respect for wildlife, but really these competitions are the complete opposite. They are cruel, wasteful, and they are ecologically destructive. We have respectfully requested that the Pennsylvania Game Commission consider drafting regulations to ban wildlife killing contests in the Keystone State,” Tullo said.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission told the abc27 Investigators it has received the request from the Humane Society and it is ” reviewing the information submitted, but is not considering taking formal action at this time”.
Six states have outlawed hunting contests: Arizona, California, Colorado,Massachusetts, New Mexico and Vermont. Two of those states drafted new legislation. The other states banned hunting contests through the state’s wildlife commission.
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