In contest kills, slaughtering animals is a game. Participants try to kill the largest, smallest or most animals for cash or other prizes. Contest kills most often target prairie dogs, coyotes and pigeons, and treat these living animals as disposable game pieces.
In coyote calling contests, teams bring dead coyotes to a check-in point where the bodies are stacked and weighed to find the winner.
Prairie dog shoots seat players at a distance from a prairie dog habitat with high-powered rifles to shoot the animals. Contestants boast of the “red mist” when an animal is blown to bits.
In live pigeon shoots, a shooter stands only yards away as captive birds are launched one at time from boxes. The goal is to shoot the most birds down within a ring. Several thousand birds may be killed outright—or left to suffer a slow death—during a multi-day shoot.
Pennsylvania is the last state to allow live pigeon shoots.
News & Events
April 28, 2011
Pennsylvania lawmakers and animal advocates celebrated the launch of House and Senate Animal Protection Caucuses, bipartisan groups of legislators who will work to advance animal protection legislation in the state.
April 12, 2011
Animal advocates from across the state will rally Tuesday at the state capitol in Harrisburg to urge their legislators to enact stronger animal protection laws for 2011Pennsylvania Humane Lobby Day. At the event, citizen advocates will urge their legislators to strengthen laws related to banning pigeon shoots and increasing protections for dogs.
April 12, 2011
The Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11 to 3 today in favor of legislation to end target shoots with live pigeons once and for all. Pennsylvania holds the dishonor of being the last place where such cruel spectacles are regularly and openly allowed.
March 24, 2011
Citizens from across Maine will meet with their lawmakers Thursday at the capitol and urge them to pass a variety of important animal welfare bills during Humane Lobby Day 2011. The HSUS and Maine Friends of Animals are sponsoring the event.
June 7, 2013
Gov. Peter Shumlin signed legislation that prohibits the importation and possession of wild pigs and their hybrids into law. House Bill 101, introduced by Rep. David Deen, D-Windham, bans feral pigs from captive hunts – fenced pens where trophy-seekers pay to shoot the trapped animals for guaranteed kills.
May 14, 2013
A roadside zoo in Mississippi has lost its exhibitor license after 43 years. The U.S. Department of Agriculture revoked the license following an undercover investigation and legal complaints to state and federal officials by The Humane Society of the United States.
May 8, 2013
A California court has upheld the constitutionality of Proposition 4, a 1998 state ballot measure banning use of cruel traps and poisons for the purpose of killing wildlife.
April 8, 2013
The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International, National Aquarium, National Wildlife Federation and Oceana applaud the Maryland General Assembly for banning the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins.