pbContact: Edita Birnkrant, FoA NY Directorbr /
cell: 917-940-2725br /a href=”mailto:edita@friendsofanimals.org”email/a/b/p
pb(ALBANY, NY)/b Today, Senator Tony Avella was joined by Friends of Animals and animal rights activists to protest an annual squirrel hunting contest called “Squirrel Slam” in Holley, New York. The contest, which awards cash prizes for squirrels killed that day, will feature a “weigh in” and a gun drawing with several different types of fire arms./p
pThe squirrel hunt is intended as a fundraiser for the Holley Fire Department and the 7th Annual Squirrel Slam is slated for February 16th. However, in actuality, this is a mass squirrel-killing contest in which children adults are awarded cash gun prizes for killing the heaviest squirrels./p
pAvella stated, “While I am generally supportive of hunting rights, this so called Squirrel Slam just goes way too far. Running a contest where participants must kill as many small and defenseless animals as possible to win prizes, including guns is a disgrace and should not fall under any definition of hunting. The worst part of this contest is that it encourages children to participate and win these gun and cash prizes. What kind of message are we sending to our youth, especially in light of all the increasing gun violence in this country?” /p
pEdita Birnkrant, NY Director of Friends of Animals says, “Since bounty hunts are not legal in New York State, this squirrel-killing contest for cash and other awards shouldn’t be either. How atrocious that 12-year old children are indoctrinated to treat animals like inanimate targets and to be rewarded with money and firearms for such violent, regressive behavior–just what the NRA is trying to promote–a new generation of gunners. Sixth graders aren’t mature enough to fully make moral decisions, and for the Holley Fire Department to create an event that awards children with prizes for shooting animals is outrageous, and it needs to end, permanently. The outcry from Friends of Animals’ members and supporters about this obscene killing contest throughout New York State and beyond has been overwhelming–we’ve organized a protest at the Holley Fire Department on February 16th, the day the sickening “Squirrel Slam” will occur.”/p
p”The organizers of this event are sending the wrong message and should be ashamed of themselves. I urge them to cancel this mass squirrel-killing contest as soon as possible,” concluded Avella./p