There is a very interesting story on Philly.com and it pertains to the hot-button topic of pigeon shoots.
Click here to read the story: http://bit.ly/MRYoVd
In places as close as Bucks and Berks counties, these shoots are still held. Inky staff writer Bill Reed wrote the latest article and described the basics of a pigeon shoot:
“A pigeon is released or catapulted into the air and starts to takes flight. A few yards away, a gun club member quickly aims and fires a shotgun, usually striking the bird.
“Some of the hundreds of pigeons released in a typical daylong shoot die instantly. But as many as 70 percent are only wounded, animal-rights activists allege, and dying birds can languish for days.”
Now we are all eager to beat up Michael Vick for his dogfighting exploits and others for holding cockfights. But are we saying – really – that pigeon shoots, because they have been held seemingly for hundreds of years are OK? And that it’s sport?
Believe me, I am not anti-hunting. It’s not something that interests me. I do go fishing but I also am one of those who is a catch-and-release fisherman. And I understand some of the rationale of the hunters and other outdoorsmen.
And then there is the pigeon shoot.
According to Reed’s story, the issue has become “an animal-rights vs. sportsmen’s-rights issue,” said State Rep. Mike Tobash (R., Schuylkill), a defender of the shoots, which are legal in Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia Gun Club — one of three clubs that stage live shoots — has conducted them since 1877.
Apparently, animal rights groups are madder than ever about this issue, especially because local police and district attorneys claim the shoots are legal under current law.
Reed quoted a humane officer who said: “I don’t think animal shoots can go on without cruelty going on,” says Johnna Seeton, who has been appointed a humane officer by judges in Bucks, Montgomery, and six other counties to enforce anticruelty laws.
According to Reed’s article, State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R., Bucks-Montgomery) is cosponsoring Bill 626, which would prohibit the shoots, “because there is legitimate hunting, and this doesn’t seem to be a sporting event.” The story added that there’s been no action on the bill in a year and that there seems to be even less support for the ban in the House.
My question is why?
Sure, pigeons are annoying. So are seagulls – and parking meter police. You don’t see us going around blasting seagulls or parking meter people.
I would ask that Sen. Andy Dinniman look into this issue. He has been active in protecting our four-legged friends from the gas chambers.
And while I’m not looking to adopt a pigeon anytime soon, I sure don’t think it’s right to release them into the sky and then blast them just as quickly. Have some compassion, huh?
— Andy Hachadorian