We did it!

The Land of Enchantment is one signature away from becoming the second state in the union to legislatively ban coyote killing contests.

coyote jumping

New Mexico is one step closer to banning coyote killing contests after SB76 passed the House floor late last night by a 37-30 vote. Introduced by Democratic Senator Jeff Steinborn from Doña Ana County and Republican Senator Mark Moores from Bernalillo County, the bill aims to ban contests in which participants compete for prizes to kill as many coyotes as possible in a set period of time. If Governor Lujan Grisham signs SB76 into law, New Mexico will become only the second state to ban coyote killing contests legislatively.

“This is a huge victory for New Mexico’s wildlife,” said Amanda Munro, communications director for the Southwest Environmental Center. “The majority of people across our state both urban and rural do not support this cruel and barbaric practice. For years, we have been fighting alongside the public and our partners to ban these abhorrent contests once and for all and finally our voices have been heard. That is a great feeling. It is makes me proud to live in a state that is leading the country on this issue.”

Wildlife killing contests are legal in most states and appear to be increasing in number. Vermont banned coyote killing contests legislatively last year, and California’s Fish and Game Commission previously banned the awarding of prizes for such competitions through administrative rulemaking.

 “We are proud that New Mexico is well on its way to becoming one of the first states in the country to ban these barbaric practices,” said Kevin Bixby, executive director.  “We commend Senators Steinborn and Moores for their bipartisan leadership on this issue.”

SWEC has been at the forefront of efforts to ban wildlife killing contests since Representative Nate Cote introduced legislation to do so in 2013. Nearly two years later, SWEC helped bring the issue to the public’s attention when we alerted the media to the presence of 39 dead coyotes that had been killed in a killing contest and dumped in the desert west of Las Cruces.


Thank you to everyone who made calls, sent emails, and visited their legislators. This win demonstrates what the wildlife community in New Mexico can accomplish. For the past six years, we have been working in coalition with Animal Protection of New Mexico, WildEarth Guardians, Sierra Club: Rio Grande Chapter, Wildlife Conservation Advocates Southwest, Project Coyote and other groups and activists to make this happen and last night, we succeeded.

This is just the beginning. Imagine what we can do in a coordinated movement for New Mexico wildlife. Are you in? Send an email to amanda@wildmesquite.org. 

Thank you Senator Jeff Steinborn and Mark Moores for co-sponsoring this bill (three times, in 2015, 2017 and 2019!), Representative Matthew McQueen for championing it last night on the House floor, and former representative Nate Cote for getting the ball rolling by introducing the bill for the first time back in 2013.

If the Governor signs this bill into law, New Mexico will be the 2nd state in the union to prohibit coyote killing contests legislatively. Now that is #nmtrue!

If we could ask you one more favor, please call or email the representatives who voted in favor of this bill and thank them for their vote. The final vote can be found here.

One republican, Rep. Gregg Schmedes, voted for the bill. (505) 986-4453

Many Democrats voted against the bill:

Rep. Harry Garcia
Rep. Lara
Rep. Willie Madrid
Rep. Ruiloba
Rep. Tomas Salazar
Rep. Sanchez
Rep. Sweetzer

Find Representative numbers here.