Bob Barker also funds SHARK anti-pigeon shoot campaign
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2010:
HOLLYWOOD–Donating $5 million to the Sea Shepherd
Conservation Society and $1 million to Showing Animals Respect &
Kindness, former television game show host Bob Barker, 86, in
January 2010 outfitted two of the most confrontational of animal
advocacy groups for campaigns against two of the most ruthless
Named in Barker’s honor, the former Norwegian whaler Bob
Barker on January 6, 2010 joined the Sea Shepherd vessels Steve
Irwin and Ady Gil in pursuit of the Japanese whaling fleet off
“Barker has also funded the cost of a helicopter that will
accompany the society’s ships. The aircraft is named The Nancy
Burnet, after the president of United Activists for Animal Rights,
an organization that Barker also supports,” said Sea Shepherd media
director Amy Baird.
Secretly bought, refitted, and sailed from Mauritius, the
Bob Barker reached the Antarctic just in time to rescue the crew of
the Ady Gil, rammed and cut in two by the Japanese whaler Shonan
Maru 2 less than 24 hours later.
The Barker donation to SHARK was issued in specific support
of SHARK-led efforts to end live bird shoots at the Philadelphia Gun
Club, whose patrons reportedly include a luxury car with the license
plate “NRA 1.” SHARK founder Steve Hindi believes the car belongs
to a senior officer within the National Rifle Association.
Founded in 1877, the Philadelphia Gun Club is believed to be
one of the last three active venues for pigeon shoots. The others
are in Berks and Dauphin counties, also in Pennsylvania, says Hindi.
Pigeons are released from cages at the shooting contests only
seconds before they are shot. Many are wounded but not killed
outright, and may struggle for hours before dying or being
decapitated by shoot staff.
A July 1999 Pennsylvania Supreme court verdict that pigeon
shoot promoters and participants may be charged with cruelty halted
the Labor Day pigeon shoot held for 65 years in Hegins, but the
Superior Court of Berks County in January 2004 ruled that pigeon
shoots do not violate state anti-cruelty law if “reasonable efforts”
are made to minimize the resultant animal suffering.
Since then, local prosecutors have refused to press charges
against hosts of pigeon shoots. Hindi sought to change that state of
affairs after shooters peppered him with birdshot on February 20 as
he sat in a boat beyond the shooting range, hoping his presence in
the line of fire would halt the day’s pigeon killing–as it later did.
The range faces the Delaware River, forming the boundary
between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The Bensalem Township solicitor served a cease-and-desist
notice on the Philadelphia Gun Club in 2002, but Bensalem public
safety director Fred Harran told Gloria Campise of the Philadelphia
Daily News that the notice was not followed up after the county
district attorney decided that the state anti-cruelty law does not
“It is time that Pennsylvania’s elected officials be held
accountable for this, and SHARK will now do just that,” said Hindi.
Hindi, a former hunter, gave up hunting and became a vegan
animal advocate after witnessing the 1989 Hegins pigeon shoot. In
1992 Hindi led the campaign that halted pigeon shoots in Illinois.
SHARK has maintained video surveillance of pigeon shoots at
the Philadelphia Gun Club since December 2009, posting to YouTube
documentation of birds suffering after being shot and of shoot
supporters harassing and at times assaulting SHARK volunteers.
Philadelphia Gun Club attorney Sean M. Corr pleaded guilty and paid a
small fine after assaulting Hindi on December 5, 2009.
Barker, who retired in 2007 after 50 years hosting TV game
shows including The Price Is Right, has previously funded animal
studies and animal rights law programs with $1 million donations to
the University of Virginia, Harvard, Columbia, Northwestern,
Duke, Stanford, Georgetown, UCLA, and his alma mater, Drury
Univeristy in Springfield Missouri.