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An Act Relating To Animals; Prohibiting Animal-killing Contests; Defining Terms; Providing Penalties

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Legislative URL:
HB 316 on
Emergency Clause:
[10] HJC [30] DNP-CS/DP [34] FAILED/H (30-38).

Related Legislators

Bill Sponsor:

Related Documents

HJC Committee Report
HJC Committee Substitute
Fiscal Impact Report

This measure prohibits the organizing, causing, sponsoring, arranging, holding or participating in “animal killing-contests.”


The bill provides definitions and additional detail of aspects of the law:

  • “Animals” are defined as any member of the animal kingdom except fish and human beings.
  • “Animal-killing contests” are defined as an organized or sponsored event in which participants’ objective is to kill animals and for which it is legal to kill more than one animal or no license is needed to kill the animals that are the subject of the contest.
  • “Organizing, causing, sponsoring, arranging or holding an animal-killing contest consists of a person:  (1) knowingly planning, organizing, encouraging or enticing a person to participate in an animal-killing contest; (2) providing or choosing the venue for an animal-killing contest; or (3) providing or procuring equipment, prizes or other items used to conduct an animal-killing contest.”
  • “Participation in an animal-killing contest consists of a person knowingly taking part in an animal-killing contest.”
  • Penalties range from civil fines up to $5,000 and prison terms up to one-year, depending on whether it is a first or subsequent violation and the particular provision violated (e.g., being a participant in the contest versus organizing it).


A potential benefit of the bill is that the ban might lead to a reduction in pressure on some animals that are the subject of such contests, such as prairie dogs and coyotes, and that play a role in nature. For example, the diet of black-footed ferrets, one of the most endangered mammals in North America, consists primarily of prairie dogs.

Update: The HJC adopted a Committee Substitute on February 21, 2013, that narrows the focus of the bill. It now applies only to coyote-killing contests and does not include “choosing the venue” for a contest or “encouraging” a person to participate in a contest as prohibited actions. The substitute specifically states that the law will not be used to prohibit a person from protecting his or her person or property. It amends the definition of a contest by adding the word “competition” and stating that the objective is to kill coyotes for prizes or entertainment.

Finally, the substitute reduces the monetary penalties that can be given by making the prohibited activity standard misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors that bear penalties of up to $1,000 in fines. The potential for getting a jail sentence of up to one-year remains.

One concern about the substitute may be that as coyote-killing contests are banned, there might be some movement towards holding other types of animal-killing contests.

Outcome: HB 316 died on the House floor (30-38).

Date of Summary:  1/30/13, Updated 2/23/13; Updated 5/21/13