(ALBANY, NY) In continuing to advocate for the welfare of all animal species in New York State, Senator Tony Avella came out against the upcoming “Crow Down” hunting contest being hosted on March 29th in Palenville, NY. The contest, which awards prizes for crows killed, does not have a bag limit and does not require the use of non-toxic shots, raising significant concerns of inhumane killings.
Unfortunately, the contest is considered perfectly legal under the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regulations.
To better address the raising concerns with hunting contests, Senator Avella has co-sponsored State legislation (Bill #S.4074), with Senator Jack Martins which would make it unlawful for any person to organize, conduct, promote or participate in any contest or competition where the objective of such contest or competition is to take the greatest number of wildlife.
Senator Avella stated, “While I continue to support hunting rights, I do not understand why hunting contests continue to be accepted as a general ‘family fun day’ in New York State. These contests promote the slaughtering of countless defenseless animals by creating a competitive atmosphere where hunters try to kill the most amount of wildlife. Without any limit on the amount of crows killed in this particular contest, who’s to say when is enough?”
Edita Birnkrant, NY Director of Friends of Animals stated, “Bloody, barbaric events like the “Crow Down” crow killing contest to be held in Palenville have no place in modern, civilized society. Awarding adults and children prizes for a mass killing contest of crows promotes a dangerous, violent attitude toward all wildlife that we share our landscapes with. Friends of Animals strongly urge passage of Senate bill # 4074 which would prohibit all killing contests throughout NY State which also target coyotes, squirrels and other species that play critically important roles in our ecosystem.”
Stella Miller, the President of the Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society stated, “I was very disturbed to learn about the crow killing contest to be held in Palenville. Crows are highly intelligent animals and are greatly admired for their cognitive abilities. I am not sure how this barbaric practice can be considered "sport". I am not opposed to subsistence hunting. I am, however, adamantly opposed to killing for the sake of killing. I am working on bringing more of the birding and conservation community in NY together to oppose this particular event as well as all contest "hunts". I support passage of Senate Bill # 4074 and believe firmly that contest "hunts" should be permanently banned in New York State.”
Senator Avella concluded, “The lack of oversight of these hunting contests, which oftentimes become animal slaughter contests, is incredible. Living in a State which recognizes the dangers of gun use, we should re-evaluate our approach to promoting countless wildlife killing as means of family entertainment.