ALBUQUERQUE – New Mexico's land commissioner, Stephanie Garcia Richard, said Thursday that she would not allow a coyote killing contest on millions of acres of land managed by her agency.
Garcia Richard, who took office early in the year and who is the first woman in history to occupy this position, has signed a decree banning such animal killing contests. on trust land at a press conference in Santa Fe. The Democrat has been joined by advocates of animal welfare and wildlife who consider this practice as barbaric and ineffective.
Breeders and outfitters from across the state have claimed over the years that the competitions are a tool for managing coyote packets that threaten livestock.
In an attempt to address the concerns of rural residents of the state and sports community, Garcia Richard said the ban specifically targeted organized competitions.
"This executive order does not mean that the New Mexico Land Office does not support hunters, hunters who practice ethically, hunters who practice lawful practices and who include fair hunting." , hunters who use what they kill, "she said.
The 3,000 people who hold agricultural leases with the agency will also not be deterred from fighting humanly against the predation of coyotes on their livestock, she said.
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Critics have claimed on social media that small pets and quail and other wildlife populations could be threatened by predators if their numbers were allowed to grow without any means of control.
Legislative efforts to end coyote competitions have been in vain in recent years. In 2018, city councilors from the state's most populous city passed a resolution condemning the challenges and legislation favoring a statewide ban.
Republican Mark Moores of Albuquerque and Democrat Jeff Steinborn of Las Cruces have prefigured a bill to repel the problem during the 60-day session that begins next week. Under the proposal, anyone participating in a coyote killing contest would be guilty of a petty offense.
Garcia Richard could not say how many killings fought on trust land. She acknowledged that the ban only applied to land of trust and covered species not regulated by the state's hunting and fishing department.
With regard to the application, she said that her agency would be responsible for investigating all reports and imposing the appropriate penalties.
Garcia Richard also expressed his support for the end of trapping on public lands, saying the practice is dangerous and inhumane.
Democrats Bobby Gonzales of Taos and Matthew McQueen of Galisteo introduced a bill banning the use of traps, traps and poisons on public lands in New Mexico. As in the past, the bill should be the subject of much debate.
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