Target: Richard Hatcher, Director of the Oklahoma Wildlife Department
Goal: Charge Senator Jim Inhofe with animal cruelty for holding a pigeon shoot
U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe recently held fundraising event, which involved shooting hundreds of pigeon near Quartz Mountain State Park in Oklahoma. A video of the event was posted online by an animal rights group showing birds left limping and bleeding across a large field. Not only is this a cruel act, Oklahoma does not have laws that allow live pigeon shooting. Senator Inhofe must be held accountable for his senseless slaughter.
A representative for Inhofe said the Senator paid a contractor to catch the pigeons, which are not a native species to Oklahoma, and that he doesn’t actually know where they came from. In response, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has argued that the event was not only inhumane, but also a violation of animal cruelty laws because only Pennsylvania has laws that allow live pigeon shooting. “It’s so wrong on so many levels. I think the public certainly gets that, and is very shocked and dismayed that such an event would take place at a fundraiser by one of our elected officials,” said Cynthia Armstrong, Oklahoma State Director of HSUS.
A video released by the animal rights group Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) showed Senator Inhofe and guests shooting at pigeons with shotguns as they were tossed in the air by other guests. Many of the birds were left limping and bleeding on the ground. The video also shows guests kicking wounded birds on the ground. Sadly, the event was also a blemish on Oklahoma’s outstanding record of treatment toward pigeons and other birds. The state is home to the American Pigeon Racing Union and the American Pigeon Museum.
Fundraisers should be events dedicated to human decency and altruism. This clearly was not. Please sign the petition below and demand that Senator Jim Inhofe be held accountable for using animal cruelty to raise money.
Senator Jim Inhofe recently held an event near Quartz Mountain State Park in which guests gave money to watch animals come to harm, or harm or kill them themselves. The hundreds of pigeons were collected by a contractor from unknown sources and released by hand as guests fired shotguns at them then left them bleeding and wounded on the ground. Some guests kicked them across the ground as they lay dying.
Your department has argued that you cannot regulate the shooting of pigeons because they are not native to Oklahoma. Neither are any of the animals involved in dogfighting, cockfighting, or nearly any other animal that is tortured, neglected, or harmed. This is a matter of how animals are viewed and treated, not which animals. Senator Inhofe should be held accountable for holding an event in which money is being traded to witness or participate in acts of cruelty, regardless of which animal is involved. Please hold him accountable for his actions.
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Photo credit: benginahmad via Flickr