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No charges for hunt club

January 2, 1993

The Daily Times (Ottawa, IL)

By Greg Rivara

La Salle County State's Attorney Joseph Navarro wants lawmakers to clarify the law used to close a pigeon shoot near Seneca this week.

Navarro will not charge those involved in the pigeon-shooting contest Wednesday at the Seneca Hunt Club because the law is confusing and club owner William Vajdik promised not to schedule any more shoots.

"The attorney general has issued an informal opinion specifically on pigeon shoots that says they are illegal," Navarro said.

Navarro emphasized he is not pushing for legalized pigeon shoots. Rather, he wants lawmakers to clarify their intentions by tightening the law's language.

La Salle County Sheriff's deputies muzzled the shoot after Plano resident Steve Hindi complained it was illegal. He founded the Animal Rights Coalition of Chicago. Hindi and a state humane investigator accompanied deputies in closing the shoot.

The Humane Treatment of Animals Act forbids the capture and breeding of animals with the sole intent to kill, Navarro said.

There were no arrests. Vajdik voluntarily stopped the shoot and said he would abide by Navarro's ruling.

The winner was to receive a gold belt buckle.

Navarro said the law is too broad and one interpretation would make stocking and then fishing a pond illegal. The law originally was intended to prohibit rooster fights and the like, Navarro said.

It's also confusing because the state formerly allowed pigeon shoots, despite the humane animal act, Navarro said. However, the law was repealed in 1991.

The club is on 715 acres southeast of Seneca. All but 105 acres are in Grundy County.