Organ Democrat Rep. Nate Cote says a recent coyote-killing contest in central New Mexico caused a public outcry and that such events must stop. He contends the contests are senseless.
His bill would criminalize organizing, causing, sponsoring, arranging or holding an animal killing contest. First-time offenders could face a civil fine of up to $1,000. Subsequent convictions could result in a year in prison and a stiffer fine.
The bill has the support of animal protection advocates.
But the owner of Gunhawk Firearms in Los Lunas, Mark Chavez, tells the Las Cruces Sun-News (http://bit.ly/VYygsW) that the bill is a disguised attack on hunting and gun rights. Chavez held a coyote-killing contest in November that attracted national attention.