Garcia Richard Signs Executive Order Banning Killing Contests on State Trust Land
SANTA FE, NM – Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard signed her first Executive Order (2019 – 001) Thursday banning killing contests on State Trust Lands. As she signed the order, Garcia Richard was joined by animal and wildlife advocates from Animal Protection Voters, The Sierra Club, Project Coyote, Wild Earth Guardians, Prairie Dog Pals and Wildlife Conservation Advocacy Southwest.
“These are not hunting contests. They are animal cruelty contests. It is an inexcusable practice, and today I used my authority to ban organized killing contests of unprotected species on any of the nine million acres of State Trust Land that I am charged with overseeing.” Garcia Richard stated in her remarks.
“The position of the State Land Office under my direction is that all wildlife are sacred and all wildlife play a vital role in our environment. This action does not restrict a rancher’s ability to humanely remove or kill an animal causing harm to agriculture or domestic pets on State Trust Lands. What we are addressing is the blood sport where participants kill dozens of animals without sound justification and play for cash and prizes,” Garcia Richard added.
Of the Order, Jessica Johnson, Chief Legislative Officer for Animal Protection Voters said, “Commissioner Garcia Richard has a long history of advocacy and leadership on important wildlife protection and land conservation issues. She has risen to the occasion at every opportunity to be a proud voice of the humane treatment of animals and sound land management. She proved that today by banning inhumane killing contests of unprotected species.”
Thursday marked Commissioner Garcia Richard’s first Executive Order after assuming office on January 1. Just ten days into her term, Garcia Richard has been hard at work. Aside from today’s Executive Order, she has successfully pushed for the Oil Conservation Commission to rehear an application from a Texas oil company that would allow them to double their drilling presence in the San Juan Basin and has sparked an important conversation on the use of traps and snares on state trust and public lands.