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Pigeon Shoots


Pigeon ShootsPigeon Shoots

During these inhumane bird-killing competitions thousands of live birds are shot to win prizes

Illegal in other countries and in all but a couple of American states, most people don’t realize the despicable nature of these despicable contests.


How these contests work:

The birds are captured and collected for weeks ahead of time, then released from trap boxes only yards away from those waiting to shoot them down. By that time the weakened birds are generally dazed and suffering from dehydration or starvation as they are sprung out of the boxes – an easy target for the so-called “sportsmen” ….

Rather than mercifully being given a quick death, 70% of the birds are injured when shot and either left to suffer slow deaths or collected and killed by pigeon shoot “trapper boys” or “wringers”, traditionally children, who break the birds’ necks, step on them, tear off wings, suffocate them, or cut off their heads with garden shears, among other abuses.

Extremist members of the National Rifle Association stubbornly defend Pennsylvania’s tolerance for the practice of shooting captive, launched live birds for target practice. The issue is not hunting or gun ownership, but cruelty to animals. 99.9% of Pennsylvania hunters never have and never would participate in these contests.

Pigeon Shoot

“It’s Only Pigeons!” – Pigeons have served very important purposes in the past and some of them, having saved thousands of people during wartimes, are celebrated heroes: Pigeon Intelligence & Achievements and Messenger / Homing Pigeons & Their ApplicationsThey don’t deserve THIS. Besides — whether you believe “there are too many of them anyhow” — there are more HUMANE methods of controlling wildlife. Besides, this should NEVER involve teaching children to not only TOLERATE but to EMBRACE the suffering of other living beings as something FUN and entertaining.

Websites with more information about this practice: and … Also: DA Refuses to Prosecute Animal Cruelty Case

Help stop this slaughter of pigeons

Rock Pigeon in flight

The communication below is from Lori Barrett.  The NYC Bar, Committee on Legal Issues Pertaining to Animals supports PA anti-pigeon shoot legislation that is still pending. 

I am attaching a letter that my committee of the NYC Bar, the Committee on Legal Issues Pertaining to Animals (“LIPTA”), recently sent to the Pennsylvania General Assembly urging the passage of H.B. 1411/S.B. 843, a bill banning trap shoots at which pigeons are commonly shot at from close range. 

The letter is publicly available on the NYC Bar’s Web site at

I thought the letter would be of interest to you because it condemns the cruelty of the pigeon shoots and the decisions of local Pennsylvania prosecutors not to prosecute organizers of the pigeon shoots and because it provides a succinct explanation of New York State laws that protect pigeons. 

I urge you to write letters to the Pennsylvania General Assembly as well. I wrote LIPTA’s letter, so if you have any questions about it, feel free to ask me. 


Lori Barrett 
Brooklyn, NY 11225


Pennsylvania Residents

Please make a brief, polite phone call to your state representative and state senator to urge support for legislation that would ban pigeon shoots and end the use of animals launched from traps or tethered for target practice.

Letters to your legislators are also very effective.

Pennsylvania Non-Residents

Please contact your local media – with this message:

“A web visitor sent information to Avianweb (the largest bird website) about “Bird Shoots” going on in Pennsylvania. We were outraged and went over several videos and information about this topic. It was mind-boggling that this could be going on. … PLEASE HELP stop this. Not only are birds killed just for the pleasure of receiving a prize, but CHILDREN are asked to kill off the injured birds … It’s something that we never thought could happen at these civilized times: .. YOUR NAME (edit and customize as you wish)

Please forward information about this cruelty to your friends and relatives living in Pennsylvania. Your help is also needed to help publicize this inhumane activity. If you have a blog, Twitter account, or a Facebook page – please do a write-up. Your letters to Pennsylvania newspapers are also needed.

Subject: Vote YES on H.B. 1411/S.B. 843 to stop live animal shoots

Dear [Decision Maker],

I urge you to support H.B. 1411/S.B. 843 to ban the use of animals launched from traps or tethered for target practice.

Now that the legislature has passed a budget, I urge you support legislation to end the shooting of animals launched from traps or tethered as targets. Pennsylvania is the last state to openly host live pigeon shoots. These events are only practiced a couple of places in the state with out-of-state shooters making up the bulk of participants.

Other states don’t tolerate this animal cruelty, and Pennsylvania shouldn’t either. There’s a shoot almost every weekend this fall, only because Pennsylvania continues to host events for participants who would be prosecuted for animal cruelty if they attended a pigeon shoot in their home state.

If you support this legislation, I sincerely thank you and ask that you do anything possible to support a vote considering this legislation.

Please vote YES on H.B. 1411/S.B. 843 to stop this animal cruelty. Thank you.


Pigeon Shoot


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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