Contests that involve the hunting of predator or furbearing animals like coyotes would be banned under a proposal being considered by Massachusetts wildlife officials.
Critics of the contests say they're cruel and that randomly killing coyotes won't prevent conflicts with people, pets or livestock.
The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife is planning to hold a hearing Tuesday evening at the Richard Cronin Building in Westborough to hear from the public.
Wildlife officials say the current level of coyote hunting doesn't reduce the population, nor would hunting have an appreciable impact on coyote populations. They say despite the presence of coyotes, deer populations are thriving in Massachusetts.
Supporters of the ban, including the Humane Society of the United States, note that California, Vermont, New Mexico and Arizona have similar bans.