Pigeon hunt may be illegal - NSPCA

2011-05-10 18:46

Cape Town - A planned pigeon shooting competition in the North West might be against the law, the NSPCA said on Tuesday.

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Rustenberg manager Gerrit Naude said: "Complaints and concerns from the public alerted the NSPCA to an advertisement in the April 2011 edition of SA Hunter magazine."

The advertisement was for the Koster School's annual "Duifskiet Kompetisie" (pigeon shooting competition) on May 13 and 14.

The ad was in Afrikaans and stated that entries cost R400 a person in teams of four with huge prizes to be won.

Investigations by the NSPCA led to confirmation that an organised bird hunt would be held, with the Koster School benefiting financially from income generated, he said.

The NSPCA condemned this activity in the strongest possible terms, as it was unethical and linking a school with flagrant slaughter - turning killing into sport and competition - reflected badly on the country as a whole.

In addition, the involvement of children carried grave implications.

The NSPCA appreciated that animals and birds could damage or ruin crops, but there were humane ways of dealing with such issues and these needed to be explored first.

"Levels of violence in our communities and in our schools remain in the spotlight. We ask what kind of message this activity sends out."

The NSPCA was still attempting to put a stop to the bird hunt, which "we understand will be held on private property.

"Organisers have stated their intention and determination to go ahead. The NSPCA believes this hunt has the potential to violate the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962.

"North West province's nature conservation has confirmed that permits will be issued for participants.

"The NSPCA expresses consternation that the issuing of these permits does not involve or include any assessment of shooting skill," Naude said.

  • Viparo - 2011-05-10 18:53

    Why not just have the day, but with clay pigeons? Much more fun anyway

      Redwine - 2011-05-11 06:54

      We have had the same article for years now. This has been done by the school for a long time and could count right up there with Comrades as being a tradition. SPCA go take care of stray cats and dogs you are irrelevant in this case.

      jacogreeff - 2011-05-11 07:22

      You have definitely never shot at live pigeons before. Clay pigeons are not “Much more fun anyway”

  • Red26 - 2011-05-10 19:01

    SPCA just have to complain, that is their job - one of their reasons to exist. Their reaction is over the top though; how can they link pigeon hunting to societal violence - an illogical argument. What are the "grave implication"? We used to hunt pigeons as kids & I think my generation is a lot more balanced than later generations. They should rather focus on real issues of animal neglect and cruelty instead.

      wayne2710 - 2011-05-10 20:42

      This kind of "hunt" is teaching kids (and adults) that it is ok to kill for fun. This is a real issue (as you put it). Not to mention all the birds that will be injured, not die, and suffer out of site of the person that shot it.

      John - 2011-05-10 22:28

      And I bet your father whipped you with his belt and you probably do the same to your kids. Did you know corporal punishment is illegal?? You probably get off from seeing living things suffering. Sicko.

      Bibi van Zyl - 2013-05-13 14:56

      Haha Red26, pigeon shooting did not make you a better person it is just that you spent a lot more time outdoors.

  • jock van wyk - 2011-05-10 19:12

    was it malema who said shoot the pigeons?

      Howzitekse - 2011-05-10 19:49


  • Francis - 2011-05-10 19:22

    I need to start shooting the pigeons that are destroying my home, my thatch, my fascias, my garden furniture, my cars, the list is endless. These damn birds are a continual pest. Someone in the area is obviously breeding the damn things. They have blocked my chimney as well and when one falls down, it makes a hell of a mess inside my house. If I could I would shoot the whole damn lot. BLoody nuisance is all I can say

  • Francis - 2011-05-10 19:23

    Is the SPCA going to pay for my repairs?? Obviously not, so they should STFU.

      John - 2011-05-10 22:31

      Shame you must be pretty lonely to make a comment and then reply to yourself . . . . sheeeeeeesh ! ! !

  • Tc - 2011-05-10 19:37

    The SPCA has become so irrelavant! They are losing any bit of goodwill that may have survived their political-correctness. Let the pigeon shooting continue - there are far greater issues being ignored by the SPCA.

  • Goddok - 2011-05-10 19:38

    The NSPCA should get real. Firstly they should understand the problem, then understand the environment. This they obviously do not have a clue about because then they would not make statements like " humane methods need to be explored first" What humane methods are available that do not negatively destroy the environment that can be done speedily ?

      Squeegee Pilot - 2011-05-10 19:59

      You whistle like a mielie and lead all the pigeons to Cuckoo Land - where the SPCA has it's headquarters.

  • Francis - 2011-05-10 19:39

    What can be more humane than a bullet, instant death. Ask Osama

  • Cobus - 2011-05-10 19:49

    Why the outcry it is legal and there is nothing wrong wit it. We live in a society that is already over regulated by laws and now this issue of shooting skill is just laughable for you to legal own a weapon you have to adhere to the firearms law and especially with the competency certificate means that you must have the ability at least in theory and if not in practice to hit the target that you aim at. I think they are just bunch of crybabies and weenies that are trying to tell us how to life and enjoy are lives shame on them

  • Greg - 2011-05-10 20:06

    I’m normally a huge supporter of the SPCA, but they have just lost my vote and cheques! Do these bunny huggers understand that these birds are shot on private ground over crops like Sunflowers or sorghum and the birds destroy a harvest in matter of days? The farmers are only too happy to have responsible hunter from well run organizations on the lands. These bunny huggers and others need to understand and wind their necks in!!

      wayne2710 - 2011-05-10 20:44

      Funny how the expression bunny hugger is used as an insult. Nothing wrong with hugging bunnies or any other animals for that matter. It shows greater strength of character than willful destruction.

  • Shooter - 2011-05-10 20:09

    Take away the word 'competition'. There should not be a 'winner' and no comparison between shooters. Give the prizes as lucky draws. Make sure you have enough ammo. Pick up your empty cartridges. Collect all your kills, do not leave it in the veld to rot. Give it to the poor if you do not want it. Do not litter, leave only your tracks behind. Beware of veld fires. Enjoy your day!

  • Born To Fish - 2011-05-10 22:04

    Killing pigeons against the law? What is next? Are we all going to be vegeterians! Grow up! Pigeons get shot by the thousands every harvesting season!

  • Born To Fish - 2011-05-10 22:06

    Uhm and now all hunters are going to have to go for assessments! Are you mad? Do you know that hunting has contributed more to conservation of game is this country than anything else! You are of your rockers!

  • EDI2000 - 2011-05-10 22:17

    Rock pidgeon eat about 10c of food a day, there are about 5 million of these flying pests in Bloemfontein alone eating R50k worth of crop every single day!!! Many farmers actually pay wing shooters to come out and hunt. I grew up wing shooting and trust me they are not in any way easy to shoot out of the sky... Comps like this teach ppl correct gun control and how to respect the power that they have, at the same time beiong out doors and learning about nature. I think its a great idea

  • Rob - 2011-05-10 22:51

    "The NSPCA expresses consternation that the issuing of these permits does not involve or include any assessment of shooting skill," Naude said. - To own a firearm you need to undergo assesment before your license is granted! Idiot. "

  • Rob - 2011-05-10 22:55

    Pigeon pie.....mmmmmmmmm...delicious!

  • Rob - 2011-05-10 22:56

    "NSPCA may be illegal - pigeon hunter".

  • Frank - 2011-05-11 01:41

    Well now!!, sport have always been part of life. Some like rugby, others love hunting. The word Sport in hunting actualy means fair chase. Now if the SPCA can provide the funding for the "humane" way of killing a pest animal like a pigeon or bushpig or rat for that matter please let those deep pockets help out the farmers. Hunting is there to show the young kids out there that you should only take from the field what you can use and not just to kill. Poachers kill. I can not think that a thousand or two thousand pigeons would go to waste if it accumilates to about 650kg of meat if 2000 pigeons got shot. This is roughly the size of a single big brahamaan bull. And i love a pigeon braai or even a pigeon pie.

  • dswakeuptolife - 2011-05-11 04:53

    Funny about the timing... I saw a documentary in which pigeons in Dubai are scared off (not killed) by falcons. Pigeons are terrified of falcons because they are apparently the only bird of prey that attacks other birds. All life is sacred and with human brain power surely we could come up with a more ingenious way to deal with the problem, and respects nature at the same time?

  • jacogreeff - 2011-05-11 07:27

    I am pretty sure that the trained officials will teach every kind involved (if they are shooting or not) about gun safety, they will learn about nature, working together, etc. So please NSCPA, stop moaning about everything to get attention

  • Lang Henning - 2011-05-11 07:55

    In America (where else) it is considered great sport to shoot rats on the dumps at night. Would the SPCA be up in arms if similar hunts were organised here?

  • Badballie - 2011-05-11 08:09

    "annual" event, OK I give Up!, what took the NSPCA so long to object to what appears to be a yearly event........Oh sorry, thats right, they fall under the ANC government now don't they?

  • Endangered.. - 2011-05-11 08:25

    You can be convicted for drug dealing, and because your husband is a minister get suspended with pay, AND THAT IS OK !!! Just don't shoot the poor mfckers that destroy millions worth of crops every year.... That is illegal..... Is there something wrong here ? SPCA, go look after the poor dogs who are tied to trees and malnourished. Horses that go days without food and clean water...

  • Darwinian - 2011-05-11 09:10

    What about pigeon racing??? 300 birds in small enclosement, only to spread their wings when owner decides to. Then these owners murder thousands and thousands of raptors and other birds of prey when they get close to these birds.... Raping a 14 year old or paying for a 14 year old sex worker...what's the difference???

  • MaBear - 2011-05-11 09:42

    You live in the dark ages - any 'sport' that teaches that killing is acceptable - especially to young children - gives them a distorted view of animals and their place in our society! This is disgraceful!!

  • figizolo - 2011-05-11 10:32

    how can you condem the killing of pigeons, yet allow the inhumane slaughter of millions of unborn children who by the way also have a beating heart. SA should take responsibillity and enforce the HEART BEAT bill. Abortion is Murder.

  • Toni - 2011-05-11 11:58

    Even the SA Hunting and Game Conservation Association cannot accept pigeon shooting competitions, as they don’t comply with the SAHGCA’s motto – conservation through sustainable utilisation. So said Dr Krappies Els, Conservation Manager of the SAHGCA. All the arguments and reasons for the intended slaughter, which is essentially a pigeon plague that is wreaking havoc and for which other methods have been attempted and have failed for various reasons, leaves the issue which is turning what some may consider a necessary evil into a fund raising and social event. This is completely unacceptable! Utilizing the people from the local village to collect the dead and wounded birds does not mean that the wounded birds are humanely dispatched, and as has been noted, they have "fist-fights" to secure the birds as a food source also implies that still surviving birds may well suffer – while some may consider the birds pests, they remain living, breathing and feeling beings. There are non lethal ways of raising funds, and if the killing is considered the only option and last resort, it should be undertaken with the solemn understanding that lives are being taken; there should never be the consideration that this be amusing, entertaining, fun. There is enough death and destruction around us all, on a daily basis and to glorify yet more killing, for whatever reason, should be pause for thought and of serious concern!

  • Kerbear - 2011-05-11 23:13

    I am really disappointed to read how many people agree with killing sentient beings. But ok, fine, lets kill birds because they defecate - how dare they!! Lets kill the homeless too, what a nuisance they are. And kids, damned kids, they are everywhere, making noise and getting in the way. They litter too you know, the homeless and kids. I bet they poop too. Lets do away with them, life is much better without that lot. Then we can kill the birds, it would be easier with them out of the way.

  • Ou Van - 2011-05-12 15:06

    If the pigeons are a pest, then yes, gor for it. BUT if they are not causing any damage to crops in that are or such then it's unethical. If they are doing this for sport, it's wrong. We have a saying, you eat what you kill. What are to become of all these birds after they've been shot? If they are to feed the locals, go for it. If not, then it's wrong. It's very simple. Don't just kill for the sake of killing or tradition. I do loads of pest control on specific birds, indian mynas, but I do so with PURPOSE. They're invasive and pose a huge threat to our indiginous bird population. I don't shoot pigeons in and around suburbs because they pose no threat and have such a little impact on the local habitat. Please people, be responsible.

  • Brian - 2011-05-17 13:13

    @ John. People will only take your comments seriously when your facts are in line and you refrain from personal attack. First, corporal punishment is NOT against the law in South Africa. Second, making sexual slurs against someone because of an assunption you have, is really unhelpful in a mature debate. As far as the NSPCA outcry is concerned - the hunt is NOT illegal. The Government Gazette allows a DAILY bag of 20 pigeons per person 12 months of the year. Limitation s on hunting are applied after careful consideration and investigation into numbers, breeding volumes etc etc. So, a knee-jerk reaction based on sentiment cannot be seen in the light of thorough research and existing law.

  • James Smythe - 2013-05-13 14:49

    Oh please SPCA - get a life, there are many more important cruelty and abuse issues to animals which you can concern yourselves with. Pigeons are classed as vermin and this shoot will remove some of them, no harm done to anyone. I do not hunt, but also do not condemn those who do so legally. There is no 'message' being sent here - that is, until the SPCA made it so according to their own prejudices! I expect this protest is also tinged with a bit of anti-gun bias - and as such the SPCA can stop making those appeals for money and support to me - and if I have my way, all other gun-owners - you won't get a cent!

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