Friends of Animals and local residents will lead a protest of the horrific event, a squirrel-shooting contest for children and adults disguised as a fundraiser, and take questions from the media, on Saturday from 4:30 to 6 p.m. outside the Holley Fire Department located at 7 Thomas St., where the hunters will bring dead squirrels to be weighed to claim prizes.
“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,” said Edita Birnkrant, FoA’s NY Director.
While the fire department gears up for the event despite opposition, New York lawmakers are speaking out against the disgrace and showing support of legislation that would put an end to animal killing contests for good.
“Any competition that encourages and glorifies the slaughter of innocent animals for no purpose has no place in our state,” said N.Y. state Sen. Jack Martins, one of the sponsors of a bill that would make these contests illegal.
Last year FoA, an international animal advocacy group founded in New York in 1957, mobilized supporters and took to the streets to protest and released a mini documentary detailing its efforts. The video also draws attention to the Senate and Assembly bills that would ban animal killing contests in New York.
“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,” said N.Y. state Sen. Tony Avella, who created the bill.
“I believe it is an obligation and honor to advance legislation that will protect and maintain the beauty and health of New York State wildlife,” added N.Y. state Assembly member Deborah J. Glick.
David Brensilver, a wildlife advocate and writer/musician, created a “Squirrel Slam” protest song in support of FoA’s efforts and can be downloaded here.
Animal killing contests 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 last 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.
- 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.
Contact NY state Sen. Mark Grisanti, chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee, where the bills are evaluated before being sent to the floor for a final decision, and tell him you support the bills. Buffalo Office : 65 Court St. Room 213 Buffalo, NY 14202. Phone: 716-854-8705 Fax: 716-854-3051 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Assemblyman Robert Sweeney, chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee, and tell him you support Assembly Bill #0366. District Office: 640 West Montauk Highway Lindenhurst, NY 11757-5538. Phone: 631-957-2087 Email: Sweeney@assembly.state.ny.us