The push to end Pennsylvania pigeon shoots includes animals activists, some lawmakers and a former game show host. In a newly released video, former TV mainstay Bob Barker urges lawmakers to end the shoots, where pigeons are launched into the air and shooters compete to hit the birds.
The former game show host’s animal advocacy has a more serious tone than his days on the “Price Is Right.”
“Live pigeon shoots held in Pennsylvania are horrific, brutal acts of animal cruelty,” he said. “Every year, tens of thousands of birds are actually used as living targets and shot.”
The Barker video goes on to show graphic images of wounded pigeons. Calling pigeon shoots Pennsylvania’s shame, Barker said most participants travel from other states to take part in the shooting.
Pigeon-shoot supporters include hunters who contend the events are a sport akin to hunting rabbits or pheasants.
They stand with Barker
Steve Hindi, president of a group called Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, has traveled from his home in Illinois many times to protest Pennsylvania pigeon shoots. His group released the video of Barker urging Pennsylvania legislators to ban the practice.
“When he was a host on ‘The Price Is Right,’ long before it was fashionable to care about animals, Bob Barker was saying at the end of his shows: ‘Please remember to spay and neuter your pets,'” Hindi said. “He’s a trailblazer. He’s always stood for the things he believes in.”
Elissa Katz, president of the political action committee Humane PA, is also pushing lawmakers to ban pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania.
“Right now, unfortunately, the legislation has not moved,” she said. “It remains in the Judiciary Committee. We are certainly urging the Pennsylvania Senate as they go into their budget discussions to act on this bill which should not take that much time and should be able to be dispensed with rather quickly.”
Some hunters say they fear banning pigeon shoots could lead to other restrictions on firearms. Others question whether pigeon shoots require the skill and effort of sports such as deer hunting.