2009-04-02 / Local & State

Oh, Shoot! Pa. Club's Pigeon Hunt Ruffles Feathers

BENSALEM, Pa. (AP) - A suburban Philadelphia gun club is fighting a citation for shooting pigeons on the banks of the Delaware River.

The police citation accuses Philadelphia Gun Club president Leo Holt of animal cruelty and violations of a 2002 anti-hunting ordinance in the township of Bensalem, about 20 miles north of Philadelphia. The fine is about $160.

Police say the citation stems from a pigeon shoot March 14.

The Humane Society of the United States animal protection group says it alerted officials after receiving a tip the club had quietly resumed pigeon shoots last year.

Club attorney John VanLuvanee says the organization has "every right'' to do what it's doing.

The gun club says it was chartered in 1877 and has been visited by the likes of Ernest Hemingway. It says it predates all legislation barring pigeon shoots.

Efforts to pass a statewide ban on such hunting in 1999 failed in the Legislature.

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