This news recently highlighted the barbaric and unacceptable practice of killing contests that continue in the Hoosier state.
In December, in Warren County west of Lafayette, a contest resulted in the killing of about 60 coyotes for cash and prizes. Now that this has been brought to light, those who are responsible are trying to justify the killing as a fundraiser for an Army veteran who lost his house in a fire.
The means to earn these funds are everything a veteran stands against. Any service member who has been in war, killed and has seen killing would certainly have to consider long and hard before accepting this blood money.
While the intention of raising funds for a Hoosier veteran was thoughtful, it is clear the fundraiser leadership lacks judgment, insight and morals.
The issue is not ethical hunting or wildlife conservation practices. Most hunters have strong ethics. They are honorable in their practices.
This is also not an issue of controlled wildlife management practices to balance ecosystems. There are practices in place that are ethical and provide for appropriate thinning of wildlife.
Killing for fun or contests is a reflection of values that should be concerning not only about animals but about other humans. Killing to kill is against most religious beliefs. These acts are rogue and must be considered intolerable as a form of reasonable human behavior.
These acts cannot be tolerated as normal and acceptable to the ethics and values respectable Hoosiers believe and practice.
Tim Maloney, senior policy director for the Hoosier Environmental Council, was quoted in a Feb. 10 Indianapolis Star story that his organization “believes that wildlife-killing contests lead to disrespect for wildlife and do not serve a legitimate wildlife management purpose. There are existing avenues for landowners to deal with wildlife who cause damage to livestock, pets or crops. The state should act to ban these contests.”
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources claims to be studying the issue. Like many studies, the research is only as good as the researchers who conduct the study.
Transparent studies conducted though an impartial academic process are called for in this instance. I urge other Hoosiers to contact the Department of Natural Resources and your local represenative to express your support of the banning of killing contests.
They need your support and encouragement, as they are seemingly reluctant to take a strong Hoosier conservative stand against these rogue practices.
Paula Neuman is a neuropsychologist and owner of NE Psychological, LLC in Fort Wayne.