On February 16, animal advocacy groups Friends of Animals, Animal Advocates of Western New York, and Animal Rights Activists of Upstate New York, joined by concerned citizens will peacefully demonstrate their objections to the Holley Fire Department's seventh annual "Squirrel Slam." The fundraiser, sponsored by Orleans County's Holley Fire Department, is being used to supply safety equipment and new gear for the firefighters.
"On February 16, Holley will be filled with animal advocates who believe that violent, regressive events like the "Squirrel Slam" need to bite the dust. There are plenty of creative, entertaining ways to raise monies that don't involve prompting children to kill animals with guns," stated Edita Birnkrant, director of Friends of Animals.
The squirrel killing contest is open to adults as well as children as young as 12 years-old.
While citizens in and out of the small New York town of Holley support the bravery and devotion of firefighters across the nation, more than 20,000 people have signed petitions, sent emails and continue to call the Mayor and the Fire Chief in protest of the killing contest. Participants who kill the heaviest squirrels will be offered cash prizes. Gun prizes will be raffled including an AR/22 Semi and other rifles.
The contest is subject to all New York State hunting and licensing rules.
"A national conversation on gun violence is happening now in our country, and killing contests such as Holley's "Squirrel Slam" subvert a civilized human culture - brainwashing children to think guns are cool and that terrorizing and killing animals is a fun, rewarded activity," Birnkrant stated.
Several people in support of the event have stated they have been receiving death threats.
The protest will take place at the Holley Fire Hall, 7 Thomas Street starting at 5:00 pm on Feb. 16th.
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