Born Free USA Position: OPPOSE
Update: This bill passed the House of Representatives on 12/11/13, and was referred to the Senate Game & Fisheries Committee on 12/13/13.
This bill would authorize the Pennsylvania Game Commission to reward hunters with $25 for each legally harvested coyote. It caps the funding for these payments at $700,000.
Not only does this bill put a bounty on the head of each coyote, it allows the Commission to pay a whopping $700,000 for their bodies – the deaths of 28,000 coyotes. A recent estimate of coyote populations in Pennsylvania place their numbers around 20,000, so at its most extreme, this bill is irresponsibly advocating their total eradication.
The outrageously high cap on incentives is only part of the problem. Naturalists have repeatedly demonstrated that, short of wiping out the species, hunts to reduce population just don’t work. Hunters would have to wipe out a stunning 70% of the coyote population to have an effect, according to a biologist with the Pennsylvania Game Commission. When wild populations are culled, they simply reproduce more rapidly due to a sudden abundance of food and space. This hunt will be both cruel and ineffective, wasting taxpayer dollars and the lives of thousands of animals.
Read the full text of the bill and follow its progress here.