SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The state Senate has passed a bill that would ban contests to see who can shoot and kill the most coyotes.
The bill from Democratic Sen. Jeff Steinborn of Las Cruces and Republican Sen. Mark Moores of Albuquerque passed on a 22-17 vote Wednesday and now moves to the New Mexico state House for consideration.
Ranchers and outfitters from across the state have argued over the years that the contests are a tool for managing packs of coyotes that threaten livestock. Opponents say the practice is barbaric and ineffective, and this year's bill would make it a misdemeanor crime to organize a contest. Participation would be a petty misdemeanor.
Coyote killing contests were banned on state trust land earlier this year by State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard.