Wounded pigeons were falling from the sky into the Delaware River again on Saturday in Bensalem as members of the Philadelphia Gun Club held another controversial pigeon shoot.
Animal rights activists - who were on hand to film the shooting - say 30 hunters shot pigeons on the club property for hours, despite an agreement with the township seven months ago to stop the practice.
The gun club believes they have the right to shoot pigeons because it's legal under state law and they have been doing so for more than a century.
In a pigeon shoot, birds are stuffed in metal boxes and catapulted into the air on command where they are shot at close distances. The practice is legal in Pennsylvania although animal activists contend it constitutes animal cruelty and have been working for more decades to win passage of legislation banning the shoots.
Berks County is home to most pigeon shoots. Strausstown Rod and Gun Club halted its pigeon shoot early this year. Another club, Pikeville Sportsman's Club, is the subject of ongoing civil litigation. Criminal animal cruelty charges filed against the Pikeville club by Humane Society of Berks County were dropped last week at the request of District Attorney John Adams. (More on that subject soon.)