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Hunters Shoot Down Drone of Animal Rights Group 1127

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the thought-it-was-a-cyber-pigeon dept.
Required Snark writes "A remote control drone operated by an animal rights group was shot down in South Carolina by a group of thwarted hunters. Steve Hindi, the group president said 'his group was preparing to launch its Mikrokopter drone to video what he called a live pigeon shoot on Sunday when law enforcement officers and an attorney claiming to represent the privately-owned plantation near Ehrhardt tried to stop the aircraft from flying.' After the shoot was halted, the drone was launched anyway, and at this point it was shot down. 'Seconds after it hit the air, numerous shots rang out,' Hindi said in the release. 'As an act of revenge for us shutting down the pigeon slaughter, they had shot down our copter.' 'It is important to note how dangerous this was, as they were shooting toward and into a well-travelled highway,' Hindi stated in the release."
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Hunters Shoot Down Drone of Animal Rights Group

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @06:16AM (#39108207)

    but I don't come to slashdot for this. Is it because they use the word 'drone' instead of remote control helicopter that this becomes something for nerds?

  • bird shot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @06:18AM (#39108219) Homepage Journal

    bird shot fired from a shot gun - upwards - is harmless. It comes down softly. The only way to hurt someone is to shoot them directly and they would still need to be within a few meters. There are other types of shotgun ammunition that can do a lot more harm but the shot for dove, pigeon, etc. is very small and light.

    • by ArsenneLupin (766289) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @06:35AM (#39108311)
      Bird shot: what you use against dove, pigeon and remote-controlled helicopter...

      After all, it flies, so it must be a bird...

    • by bratwiz (635601) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @06:52AM (#39108419)

      bird shot fired from a shot gun - upwards - is harmless. It comes down softly. The only way to hurt someone is to shoot them directly and they would still need to be within a few meters. There are other types of shotgun ammunition that can do a lot more harm but the shot for dove, pigeon, etc. is very small and light.

      This, of course, is known as the Dick Cheney Unprinciple.

      (Smirk)

    • Ya well (Score:4, Informative)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @07:05AM (#39108527)

      My guess is that in addition to being anti-hunting, they are also anti-gun (those two often go together). Well something else you discover is that often the anti-gun crowd is very, very uneducated about guns. Rather than learn all about them so as to have more solid arguments, they are scared by them and thus know little to nothing about them.

      So it doesn't surprise me at all they they would believe that any gun fired in any direction is a major hazard. Plus I'm sure they are bitching as loud as possible to get attention (and it seems to be working).

      For those wondering, the parent is correct: birdshot will fall to the ground harmlessly. Birdshot is composed of hundreds of tiny, tiny pellets, 2mm or so. Thus they lose kinetic energy rapidly in the air, and don't hit very hard when they fall. It is specifically designed to be shot in the air and not have to worry about where it falls. Rather important for bird hunting.

      Even buckshot isn't all that dangerous falling back to ground. While larger and heavier, it is also just round lead balls and thus cannot maintain a ballistic trajectory and just falls back to the ground.

      Rifle bullets are the ones that are most dangerous, though pistol rounds can be as well. Since they are spin stabilized they can maintain a ballistic trajectory for long distances, miles even. As such they can potentially hit with lethal force even if fired at a pretty steep angle.

      • Re:Ya well (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bagorange (1531625) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @08:18AM (#39108985)

        My guess is that in addition to being anti-hunting, they are also anti-gun (those two often go together)

        Hmmmmmm. From my point of view being pro-gun and pro-hunting tend to go together.

      • Re:Ya well (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @09:16AM (#39109451)

        "For those wondering, the parent is correct: birdshot will fall to the ground harmlessly."

        * Doesn't sound like a shotgun to me.
        * The "highway" was smaller than many country roads.
        * They claim the UAV was over the highway, but it doesn't look that way to me, they were definitely over the property across the the road.
        * The video doesn't show any damage to the UAV not consistent with the hard landing.
        * The only evidence that it was shot is someone saying it was shot on the conveniently running camera recording the flight of the UAV. (Not from the UAV itself)
        * They claim that the shots were coming from the bushes near the road, yet the UAV camera was focused on the property on the opposite side of the road.

        They've stretched the truth on their easily verifiable claims, to the point I'm not inclined to believe a word of their other claims until there is clear and good quality proof.

      • Re:Ya well (Score:4, Insightful)

        by willaien (2494962) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @09:26AM (#39109563)

        Regardless of how harmless bird shot is (I know, you can fire it straight up and it doesn't hurt at all)...

        The same laws apply to the shotgun no matter what is loaded in it. Firing towards a highway is probably against the law.

  • by alphatel (1450715) * on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @06:19AM (#39108223)
    I am Not an Animal!
  • by lars_stefan_axelsson (236283) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @06:20AM (#39108227) Homepage
    There's video linked from the fine article. It looks a lot less dramatic than what the summary makes it sound to be. The road is not exactly a four lane interstate. It's single/double track and there's no traffic. The only vehicle you see is the animal rights group's parked van. Go see for yourselves.
    • by bityz (2011656) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @10:25AM (#39110185)

      Context: Personally, I fully support regulated hunting for food, don't like hunting for trophy, and don't like the use of raised birds in a pigeon shoot (which seems to be the practice under scrutiny here).

      After watching the video, I think there are two main issues - one (dealt with at length here) is about whether or not it was right and/or legal to shoot down the drone. The second one is whether or not it is right and/or legal for Hindi's group to be harassing the Broxton Bridge Plantation. His tone throughout and his words at the end of the video are clearly harassment - "we have a lot of plans for those people, that much I can guarantee."

      If the shoot is legal, then the harassment should be illegal and the goal of Hindi's group should be to change the law through non violent protest and engaging the public (potentially with video).

      If the shoot is illegal, then law enforcement should handle it. If they do not, the goal of Hindi's group should be to change the actions of law enforcement officials through non violent protest and engaging the public (potentially with video). The harassment should still be illegal.

      I think this group has confused non violent protest against immoral laws with harassment of groups doing things you don't like.

  • Animal Rights? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Maimun (631984) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @06:26AM (#39108257)
    Animals do not have "rights", at least not in the sense humans do. A human has right to live. A pigeon does not have that right -- if one believes otherwise, one has to prevent pigeons from being killed by predators. The "animal rights" activists agree (I think; I have met a few of those) that it is OK animals to kill each other (which they do all the time anyway) and no "rights violation" happens when a hawk kills a pigeon. However, for some strange reason, animals rights are violated when people kill them -- at least, according to the "animal rights" activists. Go figure...
    • by Robert Zenz (1680268) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @06:32AM (#39108303) Homepage
      And if I dress like a hawk and eat the pigeon sitting on a tree?
    • Re:Animal Rights? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice.gmail@com> on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @06:47AM (#39108395)

      PETA is currently trying to get the 13th amendment to be applied in the case of five killer whales held by SeaWorld.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16920866 [bbc.co.uk]

      Yes, PETA is trying to get antislavery law to be applied against animals, which if successful will seriously change everything...

    • Re:Animal Rights? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Tim C (15259) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @06:48AM (#39108397)
      That's because while it's perfectly natural for animals to kill and eat other animals (including for humans to do it), the activists believe that unlike other carnivorous animals we have a choice.

      Even a lot of those of us who do eat meat tend to believe that the animals shouldn't be caused unnecessary suffering, which also tends to fall under the "animal rights" label. As for the name, it's similar enough in intent to human rights that the name is appropriate (and even more so for those of us who do not consider human rights to be "God-given", but to be an artificial construct of a rational, civilised society).
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Green Salad (705185)

        Clay pigeons might involve more legal rights than animal pigeons. The clay pigeons may contain intellectual property. (e.g., proprietary shape, proprietary mix of materials, trademarked logo and/or brand name, engineered flight characteristics, etc.)

        Then again, shooting a Genetically Modified petri dish pigeon instead of a naturally-gened pigeon just might violate the fine print of a GMO licensing agreement.

    • Re:Animal Rights? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @06:55AM (#39108443)

      I think you don't really unterstand what animal rights activists are fighting for (or you're lame attempt to troll made you look like an arrogant person).

      Animal rights activists aren't trying to stop the killing of animals altogether. They are trying to stop the unnecessary killing and torture of animals. Thanks to them, most animals are put asleep/sedated before being killed to be sold as food or used for research (Animal Vivisection [wikipedia.org]). Some people kill or torture animals only for entertainment.
      That's just like human rights activists aren't trying to stop the killing of soldiers in wars, they are only tying to reduce the deaths and injuries to people who aren't actively enganged in battles. You should think about reading the Geneva Conventions sometimes.

    • Re:Animal Rights? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Ice Tiger (10883) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @06:57AM (#39108457)

      Well actually as far as the universe is concerned Humans have no right to anything either, a black hole could wander into our solar system tomorrow and the universe wouldn't even look up from reading the paper no matter how much we cried out about having rights.

      Rights of any kind are an artificial construct and so animals and humans can have whatever rights we want to give them.

    • by fbjon (692006)
      I'd say animals do have (some) rights, in the same sense that humans do, since we humans explicitly give them some rights as we give rights to ourselves. See animal cruelty laws and such, at least in most decent places. Now, whether this type of hunting is animal cruelty or not, I have no idea...
    • Re:Animal Rights? (Score:5, Informative)

      by silanea (1241518) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @07:52AM (#39108827)

      A human has right to live.

      Which is why 58 countries have capital punishment [wikipedia.org] and we have been hearing a lot lately about countries from a certain corner of the world respecting the [slashdot.org] shit [slashdot.org] out of this right to live. Oh, I am sorry, what was your point again?

      The majority of animal rights activists do not want to abolish the eating of animals. They just want to see them treated as humanely as possible: No unnecessary pain, no killing for fun or sport (as in TFA), no medical experiments, acceptable living conditions. Is that so wrong? Do living creatures who are proven to be capable of feeling pain and distress not have a right to be treated fairly?

    • Re:Animal Rights? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jandersen (462034) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @07:57AM (#39108867)

      Animals do not have "rights", at least not in the sense humans do.

      Legal rights are granted by law, they don't have divine provenance. So if there are laws that protect an animal species, then that species has rights, as far as I can see.

      That aside, there is the question of whether it is wrong to kill pigeons or other animal species, no matter what the purpose, and that, I think, is a matter of taste. I don't eat much meat myself, but I can't see that it is wrong for others to do so - humans are not exclusively vegetarians, and if it is OK for lions to kill for food, then it is OK for humans, of course.

      However, it is quite common to go hunting simply for fun (like the infamous, English fox hunts); is it desirabe for society to tolerate that mentality? Not in my view. It isn't about whether it causes suffering in an animal or violates its rights, but about whether we want people around us who enjoy killing "for fun". Its a bit like enjoying chopping down trees for fun, or smashing other peoples' cars for fun. Its simply meaningless destruction, and then you also have that uncomfortable feeling that maybe such a person would enjoy killing people too.

    • Re:Animal Rights? (Score:4, Informative)

      by metacell (523607) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @07:59AM (#39108879)

      However, for some strange reason, animals rights are violated when people kill them -- at least, according to the "animal rights" activists.

      I can't speak for all animal rights activists, but I think they're less concerned with the killing than the suffering. Few activists protest against hunts that're necessary to keep the population in check (because the animals would just starve to death when their numbers became too high). One of the most reviled types of hunts are fox hunts, presumably because they're prolonged and stressful to the animal, and done purely for entertainment.

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @06:30AM (#39108283)
    They should have waited until the drone was over their own property (as I am sure it eventually would have been). Then they could have shot it down legally.

    With the exception of federally-controlled routes, airspace over your property belongs to you, just as (without prior agreements to the contrary), the mineral rights under your property also belong to you.

    This is a long-standing legal principle, not just something I made up.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 91degrees (207121)
      Someone else's property being on your property doesn't give you ownership of it. Just because someone uses my driveway to turn around in doesn't mean I get to destroy their car.
      • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @06:57AM (#39108463)
        They weren't just "turning around in the driveway", they were deliberately spying on actions taking place on private property. There is a pretty big difference.

        If they are using the drone to perform illegal surveillance (it would be illegal in my state anyway), then they have the right to prevent that action, within reason. If that means damaging the equipment that is being used to do it, especially if it is "on" your property (over counts as on), without endangering people, then yes that is almost certainly allowed.

        Over the highway? No, they probably didn't have a legal right to shoot it. But depending on the state, the drone operators might still have been breaking the law.
  • Shot down? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geogob (569250) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @06:38AM (#39108329)

    I've got a different definition of "shot down"... they managed to land the drone right next to the truck. How shut down is that? This is nothing more than marketing-oriented drama.

    But it does raise some serious question on trespassing, surveillance, right to privacy, etc.

  • Who cares (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @06:50AM (#39108407)

    PETA is basically a home grown terrorist organization, boo hoo. So they pissed some hunters off, they got what they had coming. No news here.

  • WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chicken_Kickers (1062164) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @06:51AM (#39108415)

    WTF is a "live pigeon shoot"? Is there a dead pigeon shoot? The point of hunting is to kill something,so it is absurdly redundant. Pigeons are rats with wings and I assume that the species they are hunting there is not protected or endangered, so why not kill them? From what I have seen on TV and from real life, hunters are actually the most humane people when it comes to animals. Most of them take care to not make the animal suffer.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @07:09AM (#39108559)

      Usually when people shoot in any sort of practice or competition, it is with clay pigeons. They are just little clay discs that fly pretty well, and shatter very nicely when hit with a shotgun blast. For a live pigeon shoot one would assume they would be using real pigeons.

    • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @08:24AM (#39109049)

      Pigeon shoots are where they capture hundreds of live pigeons, take them to a field somewhere, then release them over a short time span and shoot the shit out of them as they fly away.

      I don't really have a problem with hunting, but just killing stuff for the sake of killing it seems really fucked up to me.

  • by Analog Guru (2458660) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @07:47AM (#39108803)

    Hindi and his crew were lucky. They should have been arrested. South Carolina has a hunter harassment law.

    50-1-137: It is unlawful for a person wilfully to impede or obstruct another person from lawfully hunting, trapping, fishing, or harvesting marine species. Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished as provided by Section 50-1-130. In addition to the criminal penalty, any person convicted must have his privilege to hunt, trap, fish, or harvest marine species recreationally or commercially revoked for one year.
    50-1-130: Unless a different penalty is specified, any person who violates a provision of this title is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned for not less than ten days nor more than thirty days.

  • by CriminalNerd (882826) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @07:51AM (#39108819)

    Who cares about people in cars or some stupid pigeons? Is the robot drone okay? Can they save him? I didn't RTFA but can somebody tell me what's the status on its repairs? I hope they don't write it off too quickly and junk it. A drone is a precious thing with a computer and a memory unit and logic circuits and everything. It shouldn't have to be put in danger over some selfish humans' need to save some pigeons.

    SHARK should be renamed to "SHow Almighty Robotssomegoddamnrespect and Kindness"

  • by gatkinso (15975) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @08:19AM (#39108997)

    ...I would like to thank the Animal Rights group for providing a far more entertaining target than mere pigeons could ever be.

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

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