pa href=”” target=”_blank”strongProtestors of Squirrel Slam say hunting contest #39;is a crime against nature#39;nbsp;/strong/a/ppemBy Tom Rivers, editor Posted 19 February 2014/em/ppHOLLEY ndash; Edita Birnkrant doesnrsquo;t want to take away anyonersquo;s Second Amendment rights. But she does want to make shooting animals illegal when itrsquo;s part of a fund-raiser./ppBirnkrant is director of Friends of Animals in New York. She will be in Holley on Saturday for the 8th annual Squirrel Slam. She may be joined by hundreds of FOA supporters from several states./ppldquo;We share the landscape with wildlife,rdquo; Birnkrant said by phone this afternoon from New York City. ldquo;I see this as a crime against nature.rdquo;/ppFriends of Animals plans a peaceful protest near the Holley Firehall from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Birnkrant was in Holley last year for the Squirrel Slam and she said some of the hunters taunted her with dead squirrels, holding them out towards her as they passed by for the weigh station at the firehall./ppPolice have told Birnkrant the Friends of Animals will be separated from the hunters on Saturday. Police donrsquo;t want the hunters walking through a pack of protestors./ppimg alt=”” src=”/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/021914_sslam.jpg” style=”width: 300px; height: 240px; margin: 8px; float: right;” //pdivpThis yearrsquo;s event has the added dimension of the New York Revolution, a group that formed last year after the state passed the controversial gun control measure known as the SAFE Act. The group is expected to be in Holley on Saturday, showing its support for the Second Amendment./ppBirnkrant said she doesnrsquo;t want to infringe on the Second Amendment./ppldquo;Wersquo;re not trying to take guns away,rdquo; she said. ldquo;We think wildlife killing contests should be unlawful. As a society we have to evolve from this.rdquo;/ppThe Holley event isnrsquo;t the only fund-raiser where participants hunt wildlife. Other events target crows and coyotes. But Birnkrant said Holleyrsquo;s Squirrel Slam is unusual because it has a fire department as its sponsor and welcomes children as young as 12 to participate./ppParticipants bring up to five squirrels to the weigh station and prizes go to the heaviest cumulative entry. The event on Saturday, despite little advertising, quickly was a sellout and capped at 650 participants./ppThe Squirrel Slam generates about $6,500 in revenue for the Fire Department. After it pays out $1,500 for prizes, $500 for food and $440 to Holley for police overtime, Fire Department President Fran Gaylord said the event nets about $4,000./ppFriends of Animals plans to present a petition to village and fire department officials, asking that the event be cancelled in the future. Friends has offered to make up the fund-raising loss for the fire department, Birnkrant said./ppBills in both the State Assembly and Senate call for banning wildlife hunting contests. That doesnrsquo;t include fishing derbies. Birnkrant said that her goal is to stop the contests that call for killing of land animals. She doesnrsquo;t see the contests as hunting in the traditional sense./ppldquo;Most people would be horrified by a dog or cat killing contest because they are pets,rdquo; Birnkrant said. ldquo;Irsquo;m horrified by a squirrel killing contest. They feel pain.rdquo;/ppFriends of Animals is actually against all hunting, but the group#39;s immediate goal is to see state legislation approved to ban wildlife hunting contests./ppBirnkrant said her group hopes to show its opposition to the Holley event on Saturday, and doesnrsquo;t want to get into any confrontations with supporters of the Squirrel Slam./ppldquo;I would hope it would be pretty uneventful,rdquo; she said./ppHolley police expects to have at least five officers on duty Saturday afternoon with additional support from the Albion Police Department and New York State Police./p/divpnbsp;/p