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Nicole Arthur’s de-

bunking of the myths surrounding urban pigeons should give people keen insight into the lives of these fascinating birds (“The Beak Shall Inherit the Earth,” 7/12).

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Unfortunately, these intelligent birds—who reportedly saved many human lives in World War II—are now the victims of an all-out war being waged against them in nearby Pennsylvania. Nearly every weekend, gun clubs and parks across Pennsylvania hold live pigeon shooting contests, where marksmen shoot tame birds to compete for money and prizes, and where young children collect wounded birds, rip off their heads, stomp on them, and throw them into barrels to suffocate.

While some people may consider pigeons to be “pests,” Pennsylvanians actually breed them by the thousands for use in these shooting contests. Shooters in most states use clay targets, but Pennsylvania officials refuse to ban this extreme cruelty. Washingtonians should consider the suffering of thousands of birds and the lessons of violence taught to children before spending vacation dollars in the Keystone State.

Director of Campaigns

The Fund for Animals

Silver Spring, Md.

via the Internet