Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) has been a pioneer in the use of remote controlled drones to expose animal abuse and environmental crimes associated with live pigeon shoots held in Pennsylvania. SHARK president Steve Hindi’s hobby is flying remote controlled aircraft. SHARK takes the video Hindi collects and publishes it.
On October 23, 2011, Hindi’s drone videotaped both pigeons and tires being burned after an illegal live pigeon shoot held at the Wing Pointe pigeon shooting club in Berks County, PA. The illegal shoots are extremely cruel events where birds that have been deprived of food and water are launched from small boxes and shot at as living targets. Hundreds, if not thousands of birds are either wounded or killed at an average shoot.
“In 2011, we called the PA Department of Environmental Protection who inspected the burn area, discovered that they were burning tires along with pigeons, and told Wing Pointe not to burn again,” states Hindi. “Pigeon shooters, however, are often wealthy, politically connected individuals who tend to ignore the law and do what they want. We therefore suspected that they would start burning again. We were right.”
On September 1, 2013, and again on September 15, 2013, Hindi piloted his drone following Wing Pointe pigeon shoots. Both times the drone recorded video of burning, which showed a further pattern of illegal activity committed after the illegal shoots had ended.
The DEP was called after the Sept. 15 incident. An inspector discovered that Wing Pointe had burned spent shotgun shell cartridges along with plastic bottles, aluminum cans and other business waste. Shockingly, the DEP only gave the gun club another warning and is taking no further legal action.
SHARK is calling on E. Christopher Abruzzo, Acting Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, to have serious penalties charged against Wing Pointe for ignoring the DEP warning and illegally burning hazardous waste again.
“Drones have gotten a bad name lately, but it is important to understand that they are a useful tool that can help protect the environment against polluters,” states Hindi. “burning plastics and other hazardous materials is dangerous and poses serious health risks to the community surrounding Wing Pointe. Without the drone, the burnings would have continued unabated.”