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Maine’s Wanton Waste law prohibits a person from intentionally leaving “a wild bird or wild animal that has been wounded or killed by that person while hunting.” The only hunted species this does not apply to is coyotes. Maine citizens should ask: Who decided to exclude coyotes? What is the rationale for exempting what the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife refers to as a valuable and intelligent species from this wasteful practice? How do the relatively small number of people who want this exclusion benefit?
LD 814 will include coyotes under Maine’s Wanton Waste law. LD 814 will also require the tagging and registration of coyotes that are killed — the same practice that applies to other hunted species. Little is known about Maine’s coyote population and requiring the tagging of coyotes will allow important data to be collected.
There is no justification for allowing a valuable and intelligent species to be carelessly slaughtered and left anywhere. This is a social and environmental problem. Why? Aside from being wasteful, who wants their children or pets to find dead coyotes on their land or elsewhere? Lead ammunition is also an issue. Maine allows the use of lead ammunition, which can contaminate coyote carcasses and the environment and/or poison other species that eat the carcasses.
Please tell elected representatives, the Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and MDIFW to support the minority report for LD 814: Ought to Pass as Amended. While LD 814 won’t stop the above from happening, it is the right thing to do.