SENECA, Ill. (UPI) – An animal rights group claimed victory Thursday in halting a pigeon shoot and waged a war of words with the Illinois Department of Conservation.
The Chicago Animal Rights Coalition said it went to the Seneca Hunt Club Wednesday on a tip and found a pigeon shoot under way at the location about 60 miles southwest of Chicago.
Steve Hindi, a spokesman for the group, said Thursday the Department of Conservation told them the gun club had a permit.
However, conservation spokeswoman Carol Knowles said no permits have been issued since the Legislature last year passed a law "no longer requiring a permit" and removing the department's authority over such events.
She said the only way the group could have had a DOC permit was if one was issued before the law was changed.
Hindi said the Conservation Department also told his group the pigeon shoot was legal, but he cited an attorney general's office ruling in September that said pigeon shoots are illegal.
Knowles said the ruling is not a formal opinion, and the only definitive way to determine stat law on the issue is for someone to file suit.
Police eventually were called and the pigeon shoot was halted Wednesday. Hindi said LaSalle County State's Attorney Joe Navarro told them he has sent a letter to the owner of the club forbidding any future pigeon shoots.