Pursuing cruelty charges against a teen sends the wrong message
Philly.com reports that a seventeen year old boy has been charged with cruelty for euthanizing injured animals following a semiannual shoot at a gun club, after being filmed by activist group SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness).
Apparently, it’s completely legal to gun down live birds released from boxes at the Philadelphia Gun Club, but hiring this teenager to end the lives of birds that were missed is downright cruel. What activists from SHARK seem to be forgetting, is that regardless of this kid’s actions, those birds were set to die.
When the group filmed the kid chasing down the birds and using beach side objects like sticks and rocks to kill them, they brought focus to the treatment of animals instead of the use. “The shoots are legal in Pennsylvania, so there’s nothing we can do about that. Our concern is the treatment of the animal once it is shot, to make sure it’s (euthanasia) done as humanely and swiftly as possible,” Police Lt. William McVey told the news outlet. “In this case, it crossed the line.” The argument here is that death is fine, as long as it’s swift. But why isn’t the argument that we shouldn’t be killing these pigeons at all? Some would prefer to set up a bird mesh system, similar to the kind of bird mesh system for london residents that could reduce their disruptiveness.
God dammit – those birds were property of the hunting club, and people expect them to be taken care of! An attorney for SHARK said, ”It shows that whatever steps the gun club has taken up until now to keep its promise have been inadequate, so the Bensalem Police Department’s decision to file charges doesn’t satisfy SHARK’s concern that future shoots held at the gun club also won’t comply with the agreement. Right now, SHARK is exploring their options in pursuing an appropriate remedy, including returning to court.” How can we ever trust these hunters again?