BOSTON – Massachusetts Wildlife Officials are considering a ban on hunting contests that involve the hunting of predatory animals like foxes and coyotes.

The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife will hold a hearing on the matter on Tuesday evening to allow the public to weigh in.

According to NECN, the meeting will be held on October 29 at the Richard Cronin Building in Westborough. The proposed ban comes following voiced concerns by critics who believe the hunting contests involving furbearing animals is cruel.

Critics in favor of the ban also believe the killing is unnecessary as targeting furbearing animals does not prevent their interactions with humans or domesticated animals.

“The proposal addresses public concerns that these hunting contests are unethical, contribute to the waste of animals, and incentivize indiscriminate killing of wildlife, inconsistent with the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation,” the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife shared on their website back in July.

Adding, “Further, recognizing that public controversy over this issue has the potential to threaten predator hunting and undermine public support for hunting in general, MassWildlife recommended the following regulatory changes.”

On top of of possibly banning hunting contests for predators and furbearers, MassWildlife's recommendations include putting a stop to the “wanton waste” of game animals and birds as well as change the harvest reporting requirements for both the fox and coyote population.

As pointed out by Wildlife officials, hunting contests also fail to control the population, specifically when it comes to coyotes. Officials also add that the deer population is not in jeopardy and is thriving in Massachusetts.

Photo by Anthony Roberts on Unsplash