CNN recently reported on the barbaric pigeon shoots which continue to occur in Pennsylvania. The story was brief, but the program Issues: with Jane Velez-Mitchell made the point — pigeon shoots are cruel and inhumane.
What is a live pigeon shoot, exactly?
Pigeons are captured in places like New York City, where they are considered nothing more than pests, or are bred on factory farms in deplorable conditions — not unlike the horrors endured by egg laying chickens and puppy mill dogs — to become fodder for gun-toting humans who claim it is “a sport” to shoot frightened, defenseless birds.
Good question. It appears as though the only answer is… because they can!
To start, pigeons are placed into mechanical launches that sit about 30 yards away from the humans holding guns. The birds are propelled from the launcher into the air for target practice. Some will be shot while they are airborne; others are shot while on the ground.
Most of the birds are not killed quickly. They are more often wounded and left to suffer a lengthy and protracted death through bleeding, broken bones and other injuries. Some birds are even tethered to the ground before a gun is aimed at them, thereby ensuring a kill. Yet again, ironic that this is considered a sport by many.
Pennsylvania is the last state in the U.S. to allow live pigeon shoots. As a result, many people from other states venture to the Keystone State to participate.
SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness) is an Illinois based animal advocacy group that has been fighting for new laws in Pennsylvania. They have been documenting the heartless actions of members of the Philadelphia Gun Club as they shoot live pigeons:
Thanks to the generosity of former game show host, Bob Barker — who donated $1 million to SHARK earlier this year specifically earmarked for anti-pigeon shooting efforts — a concerted effort at exposing the corruption at both the local and state level has begun. SHARK is working to make the public aware of the atrocities of live pigeon shoots so laws can be changed.
What You Can Do
Bills are currently winding their way — slowly — through the Pennsylvania House and Senate. Contact your legislators to demand they pass these bills protecting pigeons from becoming gun fodder for would-be “gentleman hunters.”
Look up your legislators by zip code. Then call, write and email them. Laws don’t change unless the people make their wishes known to the ones who vote the laws into existence.
**You can also sign the Care2 petition!**
Flickr: Vladimer Shioshvili
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