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Mini-documentary slams Holley squirrel slam

May 10, 2013 | Hunting & Wildlife Management

The Daily News

By Scott DeSmit

An animal rights group has released a mini-documentary detailing efforts to stop a squirrel-hunting contest in the village of Holley earlier this year.

Friends of Animals last week released the six minute, 41-second video showing "the horrifying behavior of the Squirrel Slam hunters and supporters," said FOA president Edita Birnkrant.

Birnkrant said the video is part of the group's ongoing effort to ban all animal-killing contests.

Birnkrant and other members of FOA attended Lobby Day in Albany Tuesday, encouraging lawmakers to approve three bills that have been pending. One of those bills would ban hunting contests. The other two bills: One that bans devocalization of cats and dogs and one that bans horse-drawn carriages in New York City.

It is the bill that bans animal-killing contests that is featured in the documentary.

Holley Fire Department conducted its seventh annual Hazzard County Squirrel Slam Feb. 16. Prizes, including cash and guns, were given to the hunters bagging the largest squirrels and most combined weight for up to five squirrels.

The contest drew the ire of animals rights activists, who for weeks sent letters and emails to fire and village officials asking them to stop the contest.

That didn't happen and the contest was conducted on Feb. 16, drawing about 50 protesters, who were outnumbered about 3-to-1 by those supporting the contest.

The protest was for the most part peaceful but as the documentary shows, there were instances of volatility.
Hunters passing by in trucks waved squirrels out windows, arguments ensued between protesters and supporters and at one point a man offers a veiled "death threat" to Birnkrant. He was charged with harassment.

Birnkrant said the video was done to "expose and reverse the mentality that embraces such violence in communities like Holley and elsewhere."

The video can be found on FOA's website or directly here.

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