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Deadly "Squirrel Slam" is Nuts

January 23, 2014 | Take Action / squirrels

Did you know that the village of Holley, N.Y. is preparing for another bloodbath on Feb. 22, the day it plans to host its annual "Squirrel Slam"?

Nonsensical, absurd, unethical and horrific are words that have been used to describe animal killing contests, yet the Holley, N.Y. Fire Department is once again planning its annual “Squirrel Slam,” a squirrel-shooting contest for children and adults disguised as a fundraiser.

The bloodbath is slated for Feb. 22, and Friends of Animals will lead a protest from 4:30 to 6 p.m. outside the Holley Fire Department located at 7 Thomas St., where hunters will bring dead squirrels to be weighed to claim prizes.

Last year FoA, an international animal advocacy group founded in New York in 1957, mobilized supporters and took to the streets to protest this obscene contest and released a mini documentary detailing its efforts. The video also draws attention to Senate and Assembly bills that would ban animal killing contests in New York.

“Animal killing contests like the shocking ‘Squirrel Slam’ held in Holley, N.Y. for the past eight years have no place in a civilized society, therefore, I strongly support passage of Senate Bill # 4074 to outlaw these killing contests,” New York state Sen. Tony Avella said. “At Friends of Animals’ urging, this is the second year I’ve pressed the Holley Fire Department to cancel the controversial ‘Squirrel Slam’ in favor of a less violent way of raising money. Children as young as 12 should not be encouraged to shoot squirrels to win prizes. That practice is similar to bounty hunting. Killing contests like the ‘Squirrel Slam’ provide an incentive to children and adults to shoot many animals to win prizes— a disturbing, irrational activity that’s out-of-pace with New York culture and must end throughout the state.”

Animal killing contests, like pigeon shoots allowed in Pennsylvania, and the “Final Fling for Fox” hosted by the Bark at the Moon Coyote Club, slated Feb. 14  in New York, are part of a broader conversation on gun violence. The Holley event comes just over a year after a rifle wielding Adam Lanza committed mass murder at an elementary school, and earlier this month, a 12-year-old opened fire at a middle school and an elderly man fatally shot someone because he was text messaging during a movie.

“This is the second year FoA  is challenging the Holley Fire Department to cancel the violent, regressive ‘Squirrel Slam,’ and our experiences protesting the event last year showed a sickening, gun-worshipping culture of adults, teenagers and children who celebrated the violence of mass animal killing—cheering on the hunters as they waved fistfuls of dead squirrels in our faces and in the air, even plastered them on their cars, before they entered the fire house to weigh the corpses and win cash and gun prizes,” said Edita Birnkrant, FoA’s NY Director. “Coyotes, squirrels and crows are frequently targeted in New York State in killing contests. The need to pass pending legislation to ban wildlife-killing contests in NY couldn’t be more urgent. Senate Bill # 4074 and Assembly Bill # 03661 would finally put an end to all competitions based on shooting and killing animals—we urge immediate passage of this critically important bill.”

Not only are the killing contests barbaric, they disrupt the natural order of wildlife and create vacuums, according to Ray Powell, commissioner of the New Mexico State Land Office. New Mexico introduced a bill to stop animal killing contests last year.

FoA will continue to work with Avella and other legislators until animal killing contests become illegal.


● Share our short video documenting our experiences in Holley, N.Y.


● Tell the Holley Fire Department to organize a non-violent fundraiser instead of the ‘Squirrel Slam.’ Write to them on their website or call them at 585-638-6884.

● New York residents should contact their state legislators, and ask them to sign on as co-sponsors and urge passage of the bill to ban wildlife-killing contests in NY—Senate bill #4074 and Assembly bill #03661. Residents of other states should contact their state legislators and ask that they propose legislation to ban animal-killing contests in their state.

● Write a letter to the editor to one of New York’s larger newspapers expressing support for Senate Bill #4074 and Assembly Bill #03661.


This display of unwarranted and pointless violence is indicative of an abnormal and violent pathology, that is unsafe for any community. Having no impulse control, such as this "event" inherently promotes, is a serious and dangerous trait for society. It is particularly disturbing that it is held by local infrastructure, such as the fire department, who are targeting children to participate in such cruelty. I hope that there is someone in the Holley community that can employ enough intelligence and mortality to come up with another more evolved form of fundraising.

This is a disgusting event and it should never take place again or anywhere else! What does this teach kids? There is nothing positive that comes out of it, the exact opposite is true! It teaches kids that animals are nothing more than things and that they have no worth on earth! We hear about all the cases of kids/teenagers indiscriminately shooting/killing innocent animals like cats, dogs, birds and other wildlife just because they have the means! This kind of event feeds into and encourages kids and young adults to kill animals just because they can, without thinking twice about it!

What's worse, some squirrels playing in the tree's or a bunch of redneck psycho's roaming around with guns killing animals? We both know the answer to that one.

This is uncalled for this teaches children not to repect the animals and its alright to kill. All creators have a place on this earth and they all have a part just as we do. I can not believe that this is happening and being run by the fire department to boot. That tells me they are cold hearted and do not understand the circle of life and nature at all they are losers to institute this sort of thing. You teach your children to love wildlife not kill them. America is falling apart inch by inch as all of our wildlife are being slaughtered once they are all gone we will be also as I said before each one has a part on this earth and humans are the worst of the worst. Animals have emotions too and feelings we all bleed red. Remember that. Im against this its cruelty.

this is very upsettinghow can anyone enjoy killing innocent animals

how can you enjoy killing innocent and defenseless animals

Cruel and violent, as if we don't have enough violence already. More importantly, firemen SAVES LIVES. even animals, this is not what firemen do.

Stop deadly squirrel slam now!

What exactly are the squirrels doing wrong apart from eating nuts to having nuts shoot them.

Are you kidding me? A bunch of beer drinking rednecks with guns? And giving guns to children? This world has gone crazy.


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