A protest in Huntingdon by SHAC, November 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
NEWSWORKS--Animal rights activists have been trying for decades to end pigeon shoots – private events during which hunters take aim at live pigeons released from traps. Activists call it barbaric, though judges and prosecutors have said it breaks no animal cruelty laws.
Sen. Rich Alloway, R-Adams, counts himself among the traditional sportsmen against the practice. He called it a wasteful "blood sport" before voting for the ban during a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday.
"I hunt for my family. I eat what I kill," said Alloway. "If I shoot something and injure it and I can't find it, it drives me crazy because I know that I hurt that animal and it's going to go to waste."
The bill will go to the full Senate for consideration, though Sen. John Eichelberger, R-Blair, found it odd to see such compassion for creatures some call "rats with wings."
"If we're concerned about the welfare of these pigeons, and I guess that's the point of what we're trying to do here, then we should also prohibit municipalities from poisoning pigeons, shocking pigeons to death, trapping pigeons and taking them off-premises and killing them," said Eichelberger. "All those thing happen all the time."