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Humane officer stops Illinois pigeon shoot

January/February Issue

Animal People (Nationwide publication, www.animalpeoplenews.org)

SENECA, Illinois – Police acting on a complaint by Will County Humane Society cruelty investigator Sheryl Vandervort shut down a pigeon shoot at the Seneca Hunt Club on December 30.

The shoot marked the first test of Illinois senior assistant attorney general Michael Luke's September 16 opinion that pigeon shoots are illegal under section 4.01 of the state Humane Care for Animals Act. When Vandervort requested the police action, skeptical officers called the Illinois Department of Conservation, whose spokesperson Carol Knowles reportedly said the shoot was legal because the operator held a CEOC permit. Advised of Lake's position, Knowles allegedly stated, "I've read that but is has not been tested in court," which it could not be without arrests.

The police finally moved after about an hour of further checking. No charges were filed, but LaSalle County Attorney Joseph Navarro warned the shoot operators that further violations would be prosecuted.

As shooters exited the site, one hurled a mortally wounded pigeon at protester Steve Hindi and colleagues, who videotape the shoot and aftermath.