NY Humane Association calling for end to squirrel hunt
Pete DeMola is reporting for the Times Union the New York State Humane Association is asking a Columbia County club to call off its annual squirrel hunt scheduled for February 27, contending the event organized by the Germantown Sportsmen's Association focuses on the “wanton destruction of helpless animals.” It is an activity outdoor groups say is a way to raise funds for charitable causes and keep animal populations in check. Humane Association chairman Harold Hovel wrote to the club on February 5, asking the club to replace the hunt with an event that focuses on “promoting family values.” The Kingston-based nonprofit acknowledges squirrels are not endangered, but it contends other factors make the event unpalatable. "With the rise in crime that is occurring in our communities, coupled with the disrespect and rude behavior that seems to be predominate in our society currently, do we really need to add to the callousness of adults and children by encouraging them to outdo each other in the number of helpless animals they kill and bag?" the association said in a press release about the letter sent to the Germantown group. Organizers said they have no plans to call off the hunt, despite receiving vulgar phone calls and even death threats from across the country. Participants in the 7th annual “Squirrel Scramble” will pay $20 to pair up in two-person teams and set out near dusk for the hunt. Organizers said the event helps encourage outdoor activity and bolsters the club’s sagging membership. Read more in the Times Union.