Video statements that pigeon shoots are already illegal:
Dear Attorney General Kane,
My organization, SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK), has video-documented horrific acts of animal cruelty that have occurred at numerous live pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania.
Each of these shoots, where pigeons who have been deprived of food and water are launched from small boxes and then shot for fun, result in hundreds if not thousands of violations of Pennsylvania state law.
It's critical to understand that pigeon shoots absolutely violate current Pennsylvania law. Without question, the intentional wounding and subsequent mistreatment of hundreds of animals at pigeon shoots constitutes cruel ill-treatment, abuse, neglect, and abandonment of animals (including banded pigeons) in violation of Pennsylvania's Animal Cruelty Code, 18 Pa. C.S.A. §§ 5511(c) and (k).
5511(c) of the cruelty code provides that:
A person commits a summary offense if he wantonly or cruelly illtreats, overloads, beats, otherwise abuses any animal, or neglects any animal as to which he has a duty of care, whether belonging to himself or otherwise, or abandons any animal, or deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, drink, shelter or veterinary care, or access to clean and sanitary shelter which will protect the animal against inclement weather and preserve the animal's body heat and keep it dry.
SHARK has video documentation of pigeons being beaten, kicked, stomped and torn apart by hand. We have video documentation that once the birds are forcibly launched from the boxes they were shoved into, that they are abandoned. Some victims may have the strength to fly to neighboring properties, some may make it just a few yards from where they were shot, but all these abandoned animals have little to no hope of surviving.
These birds suffer pain and stress from their gunshot wounds for hours or days until they die from their wounds, predation, starvation, thirst, infections or infestations related to their wounds. In the case of the Philadelphia Gun Club, which borders the Delaware River, pigeons may also drown in that water.
Though we have rescued dozens of wounded pigeons that have been abandoned, nearly 50% of the birds we are able to retrieve die within a few days, because their emaciated bodies have suffered terminal damage from having not been fed of given water for days before the shoot.
The cruelty code further provides that, "(a) person commits a summary offense if he shoots, maims or kills any antwerp or homing pigeon ... or detains or entraps any such pigeon which carries the name of its owner." Id. at § 5511(k).
SHARK has video evidence of dead and wounded birds that have been banded. This evidence, along with all the other evidence we have collected, has simply been ignored by district attorneys in both Berks and Bucks County, where major pigeon shooting clubs are located, and who we have discovered have significant campaign/financial ties to the participants and defenders of the shoots. I am including with this letter reports exposing these improper ties and relationships so that you will understand exactly why pigeon shoots have been allowed to continue.
One argument that pigeon shoot supporters try to make is that they are protected by the game code. This is patently false.
On June 15, 2012, we received a letter from the Pennsylvania Game Commission explicitly stating that pigeons are not part of their game code and that they have no jurisdiction over them.
“Pigeons are not included in 50 CFR [U.S. Fish and Wildlife code], they are not listed in the definition of “game birds”, and they are not designated by the commission, thus, by statute, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has no legal authority to regulate any issue involving pigeons.”
On August 31 and September 1, 2013, a major two-day long shoot is planned at the Wing Point commercial hunting grounds in Berks County, PA. Thousands of birds will be shot and abandoned. Thousands of violations of Pennsylvania state law will occur. We ask that you take immediate action to keep this from happening
The law is clear. We have literally dozens of hours of evidence. All that remains is for someone in authority in Pennsylvania willing to see that current laws are enforced to stop these illegal pigeon shoots.
Showing Animals Respect and Kindness