PA House Committee Approves Bucks County Lawmaker’s Live Pigeon Shoot Ban Bill

Bucks County is home to a live pigeon shoot.

The Pennsylvania Capitol Complex in Harrisburg. File photo.

A bill that would ban live pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania moved forward on Monday after approval by the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee.

State Rep. Perry Warren, a Democrat from Bucks County, proposed the legislation (House Bill 2139) recently. It would amend the state’s criminal code to ban live pigeon shoots.

The bill passed committee 16-8 and one Republican did not vote. All the Democratic lawmakers on the committee voted for the ban, while two of the 11 Republicans on the committee voted in favor of it.

Currently, pigeon shoots, where birds are raised in captivity only to be shot in competition, remain a legal but controversial practice in the state.

“Dog fighting, cock fighting and greyhound racing have already been prohibited in Pennsylvania,” Warren said. “In 2017 even possessing the implements to raise or train an animal for death in the name of gambling became illegal. Yet, pigeon shoots are presently exempted from Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty law.”

The Philadelphia Gun Club in Bensalem Township hosts an annual pigeon shoot along the Delaware River.

Critics argue the events offer minimal sport and contrast sharply with traditional hunting. Injured birds are often left to suffer and eventually die.

Advocates for animal rights, including Heidi Prescott, senior vice president of the Humane Society of the United States, have long condemned these events.

“Shoot clay, not pigeons,” Prescott said this week.

Prescott applauded the bill’s progress and that it will move to the full House for a vote.

The bill would not impact “fair chase” hunting and training activities. The legislation also would not impact Second Amendment rights, according to a judiciary committee staff analysis that was reported by the Pennsylvania Capitol-Star.

Warren serves the 31st Legislative District. The district is made up of Lower Makefield Township, Newtown Borough, Newtown Township, Upper Makefield Township, and Yardley Borough.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for 12 years for both newspaper and online publications. Tom’s reporting has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally across several mediums. He is proud to report on news in the county where he lives and to have created a reliable publication that the community deserves.

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