Sample letters to the editor – ending pigeon shoots

216127_10150168308253718_143656653717_6626810_529973_nSubmitting a letter to the editor of your local paper is a great way to bring more attention to an issue, as well as to pressure your legislators to support a bill.  Check out our fact sheet for tips as well as contact information for most Pennsylvania newspapers opinion pages.

Below are sample letters to help bring attention to the failure of the Pennsylvania legislature to end cruel live pigeon shoots.  Please feel free to use any language and/or edit to your own words and thank you!

1. Dear Editor,
The majority of Pennsylvanians abhor animal cruelty.  Cruelty to animals is generally acknowledged to be a precursor to abuse of or violence towards people.  In Pennsylvania, a very cruel practice still occurs, known as a live pigeon shoot.  A recent poll revealed that 75% of Pennsylvanians support a ban on live pigeon shoots.

In live pigeon shoots, thousands of pigeons are used as targets and left to suffer, wounded, on neighboring properties. The goal of the “contest” is to kill as many birds as possible, in a single round. Most hunters agree that organized pigeon shoots are a scar upon legitimate hunting. Even the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) declared pigeon shoots to not be fair-chase hunting. The birds cannot be used for meat, nor are their feathers useful for commercial enterprise.

This is exactly why the people of Pennsylvania overwhelmingly disapprove of live pigeon shoots taking place in our state. It’s time to shut down this cruel practice once and for all in Pennsylvania. I urge our state legislators to do what is right and pass common-sense legislation to end cruel pigeon shoots.

2. Dear Editor,
Could you imagine innocent birds being captured, launched out of a box and shot at close range by shooters who earn points for every bird they shoot down within a certain range? Pennsylvania still allows live pigeon shoots and this is exactly what happens during these cruel contests. Observers estimate that 70% of the birds are not killed outright and die slowly from their wounds. Most hunters agree that pigeon shoots are not a genuine “sportsmen” event and there is nothing sporting about close range shooting of mechanically launched, dazed, weakened and disoriented birds. Despite support from the majority of Pennsylvanians, including many hunters, to end live pigeon shoots, the NRA uses its lobbying muscle to prevent the consideration of this bill, saying it is a “slippery slope” to ending legalized hunting activities. The PA Game Commission has opined that a narrowly tailored ban on live pigeon shoots will not affect any legal hunting activities in our state

Surely we can all agree with banning live pigeon shoots and that clubs holding these contests in PA should be required to use clay pigeons. It is disheartening to know that our great state has yet to pass legislation for such a basic issue. The Pennsylvania Legislature  needs to pass SB 612 now.

3. Dear Editor,
The issue of live pigeon shoots is back in the news, with the recent slate of stories about the cruel trapping of pigeons in Pittsburgh and New York City to sell to live pigeon shoots.  Despite the fact that the majority of Pennsylvanians oppose this cruelty, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives has failed to pass legislation to end these heinous contests. It is long past time to deal with this issue and ban barbaric, live pigeon shoots in our state!

4. To the Editor:
For decades, the Pennsylvania legislature has ducked bills to end live pigeon shoots, although the State Senate had the sense and compassion to overwhelmingly pass a bill that would have ended live pigeon shoots. Unfortunately the House let it die without a vote.

There is nothing wrong with competitive target shooting using clay birds. Shooters don’t need to use live animals in these competitions. Leave the birds alone. It is time for our state legislators to outlaw live pigeon shoots.

5. Dear Editor:
I was heartened this year when in 2014, a record number of 36 Pennsylvania Senators voted to end the horrifying and cruel practice of live pigeon shoots. Unfortunately the House let the bill die.

Despite years of legislative efforts, these abhorrent practices have continued, supported by lobbyists who call these senseless shoots “traditions,” “legitimate” and “sporting.” The execution of helpless animals for contests and profit is neither legitimate nor sporting. It may be a tradition, but that is no excuse to continue backwards and cruel contests.

SB 612, introduced by Senator Pat Browne this year, is a bill to end live pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania. This legislation is long overdue, as this legislation has gone unaddressed for decades. 2018 is the year to pass legislation to end live pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania!

6. Dear Editor
Most hunters know that shooting a bird that is merely launched to be killed and discarded is not hunting, and would never participate in a live pigeon shoot contest.  Most importantly, rather than mercifully being given a quick death, the majority of the birds are injured when shot and are either left to suffer slow deaths or collected and killed by pigeon shoot “trapper boys” or “wringers,” who break their necks, step on them, or snip their heads off with garden shears.  It is beyond comprehension that our legislators would not immediately put an end this cruel practice and embarrassment to the Commonwealth.

7. Dear Editor,
Senator Pat Browne introduced a bill that would ban live pigeon and tethered turkey shoots – SB 612. This legislation is long overdue, as this it has gone unaddressed for decades. Pigeons are trapped, launched, shot at close range and, in many cases, left to suffer before finally dying. Despite years of legislative efforts, these abhorrent practices have continued, supported by extremist lobbyists – who call these senseless shoots “traditions,” “legitimate” and “sporting.” The execution of helpless animals for contests and profit is neither legitimate nor sporting. It may be a tradition, but that is no excuse to continue backwards and cruel contests. How many other outdated traditions have lawmakers thankfully ended, like cock fighting and dog fighting?

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8. To the Editor:
There is currently a bill languishing in the state Senate – SB 612, that would ban cruel live pigeon shoot contests. Opponents of the bill try to spin to  claim that it is the first step to end hunting.  Ridiculous. No hunters I know blast away at captive birds launched one at a time in front of their shotguns. Pigeon shoots are animal cruelty. The majority of Pennsylvanian voters who were polled support an end to live pigeon shoots.  It is time for the Pennsylvania legislature to act and end these horrifying contests.

9. Dear Editor,

Shooting captive launched pigeons one at a time at almost point blank range for a contest is not a sport. It’s a senseless blood spectacle, endorsed by barbaric and cowardly individuals. Cruel to the birds, coarsening to the participants, and degrading to the spectators, live pigeon shoots are an embarrassment to Pennsylvania. They should have been banned decades ago, yet they continue to be held here. What on earth can our legislators be thinking to let them go on this long? It is time to pass legislation to end live pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania.

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