Wisconsin residents contact your Wisconsin Senate Legislature (click here) and ask them to co sponsor Senator Risser’s LRB-1453/1 relating to wildlife killing contests and prohibiting contests for killing wild animals and providing a penalty. To get this moving we need you to take action!

Senator Risser’s Bill has not been introduced. The Senator is seeking co sponsors for his bill.

When a Representative has written a bill, the bill needs a sponsor. The Senator talks with other Senators about the bill in hopes of getting their support for it. Once a bill has a sponsor and the support of some of the Senator, it is ready to be introduced.

The following was sent to Senator Risser’s legislative colleagues from:
Senator Fred Risser, Democrat, from Madison, Wisconsin sent an email out to his Legislative Colleagues asking for Co-Sponsorship: of of LRB-1453/1 relating to wildlife killing contests and prohibiting contests for killing wild animals and providing a penalty.
In Wisconsin, there is no prohibition to wildlife killing contests. These contests use various tactics to attract, manipulate, confuse, and even temporarily blind wildlife in order to kill as many animals as possible. Dogs, semi-automatic weapons, ATVs, traps, snares, and snowmobiles are often used in such contests, including participants chasing animals on snowmobiles to the point of exhaustion and running them over repeatedly. 
Many hunters have condemned these contests as unethical and say they create a bad name for those who hunt ethically. This bill would prohibit all wildlife killing contests, much like laws in California and Vermont which prohibit predator killing contests.
If you would like to sign-on to this bill, please contact Senator Risser’s office (6-1627), or by email, no later than Friday, February 1, 2019.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill prohibits the organization of and participation in contests for killing wild animals.  “Contest” is defined as an organized or sponsored competition with the objective of taking, capturing, or killing a wild animal for entertainment or for the chance to win designated prizes.  “Contest” does not include a lawful fishing tournament. The bill prohibits a person from doing any of the following: 1) organizing, conducting, or sponsoring a contest; 2) providing a venue for a contest; and 3) participating in a contest. A violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a forfeiture. 

What’s needed and how you can help:

1)  This bill needs lots of co-sponsors from both the Senate and Assembly!  ACTION: Contact both your state Senator and Representative and say, “As your constituent, I’m asking you to please sign onto LRB 1453/1 relating to: prohibiting contests for killing wild animals and providing a penalty, sponsored by Senator Fred Risser.”  Then provide your address to confirm you are in their district.    

2)  This bill needs an Assembly companion bill sponsored by a Republican!  ACTION: If your state Representative is a Republican, contact him/her with this message: “As your constituent, Please co-sponsor a companion bill for LRB 1453/1, related to prohibiting wildlife killing contests and providing a penalty, sponsored by Senator Fred Risser.”  Then provide your address to confirm you are in their district.  

This link will take you to Wisconsin’s state legislator site where you can look for “Who Are My Legislators”.   Type in your address to find your State Representative and Senator’s contact information.  https://legis.wisconsin.gov/

Talking Points for you to share with legislators

Talking points can be found on the National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests WEBSITE

Wildlife killing contests are symptomatic of a broader problem of misguided wildlife governance by state agencies that fails to value the crucial ecological roles of native carnivores and other wildlife. The belief that killing unlimited numbers of native carnivores is a legitimate form of wildlife management is perpetuated by special interest groups—trophy hunters, trappers, and agricultural lobby groups—and exists largely because it is considered more expedient to kill wildlife than to implement responsible, science-based conservation and management.

Participants often justify their events with misleading claims that they will reduce conflicts with coyotes—the species most often targeted in these contests. There is no documented scientific evidence that coyote killing contests permanently reduce coyote abundance, increase populations of deer or other game species, or prevent conflicts between predators, humans and livestock.

The National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests (“Coalition”) is a growing alliance of national and state organizations working to permanently abolish contests that promote the killing of bobcats, coyotes, foxes, mountain lions, wolves, and other species for cash and prizes in wildlife killing contests, derbies, and tournaments in the United States. Download our mission statement here.

The Coalition’s goals are to:

  • Expose the prevalence of wildlife killing contests—organized events where participants compete for cash and prizes for killing a wide variety of wild animal species—across the United States.
  • Raise public awareness about how wildlife killing contests disrupt ecological function and health, degrade the value of individual animals, teach disrespect for wildlife, and inflict and promote cruelty to animals.
  • Inspire and promote grassroots action to end wildlife killing contests through legislation, regulatory reform, and litigation.
  • Support efforts by organizations and individuals to prohibit and end wildlife killing contests nationwide, at every jurisdictional level.
  • Advocate for responsible, humane, and ecologically sound wildlife management practices, focused on coexistence and science-based non-lethal methods of conflict resolution.
  • Promote dialogue with wildlife killing contest sponsors to encourage them to stop supporting these events, and to view wildlife as essential components of healthy ecosystems rather than as pests, vermin, or targets in competitive killing contests.

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin is one of the National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests Members!

Featured image credit Jim Brandenburg

Watch Project Coyote Film “Killing Games: Wildlife Caught in the Crosshairs”

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