The blood sport of coyote killing contests is returning to Alberta on January 9, 2016. Despite wide-spread opposition from animal lovers, scientists, and many, many voters, the government last year did not intervene. We are renewing our call for a change in existing policy.
While coyote hunting will likely remain legal for the foreseeable future, the organizing of “contests” should be brought to an immediate end. The one day events put unparalleled, unnatural pressure on the populations of our wild canids and there remains no justification for them.
The killing of coyotes – let alone these outright culls – will break apart important social structures, as the mated pair both hunt and rear young pups. The gap left in this structure will be quickly filled by other coyotes or predators, can increase the reproductive rate of remaining coyotes, and can cause crises in prey species populations. There is even evidence to suggest that depredation on livestock increases with the use of lethal force against existing populations of canids.
This year scientists even noted that predatory species can help prey species adapt to changing climates, and others called for international intervention on the slaughter of these vital animals in our ecosystems.
It is time for Alberta to end this barbaric practice enjoyed by few, and listen to the cries of the thousands of taxpayers who oppose it – and the silent whimpers of the tens of thousands of coyotes killed needlessly.
Write to the Alberta Minister of Environment Shannon Phillips (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Premier Rachel Notley (email@example.com) and tell them that you oppose such contests and want to see them ended. If you’re a resident of Alberta, make sure you copy your local MLA (find your MLA by clicking here). If you’re not a resident of Alberta, please make note that you are a potential tourists and/or investor and oppose these contests.
We are asking that you write to these individuals as the Alberta government does not recognize online petitions as a valid form of communication – but by emailing your voice and opinion are recorded in public record.
Stay on point: this issue is about coyote killing contests – not anything else. Keep your comments directed to the facts and provide citations if necessary.
Stay polite and use spell check: if you’re rude, aggressive, misspell words, or use incorrect grammar, readers may become disengaged or dismissive of your points.
Provide solutions: rather than just say what’s wrong, say what’s right. Offer solutions or alternatives to help move forward conversations.
Identify yourself: it’s important to include your address when writing politicians so they know who you are, where you’re from, and that your vote will affect them in the next election.
Let us know what you hear: if you receive a message back from your representative, or they would like to discuss the issues in greater detail with us, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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