Senator Jim Inhofe announced the end of his annual wild pigeon, a cause for celebration for an animal rights group. The outdoor fundraiser had been the target of a multi-year campaign by Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, or SHARK, which alleged the event was cruel.
In a series of emails obtained by the group, a staffer from Sen. Inhofe's office wrote in January to Oklahoma Department of Wildlife game wardens, "I am happy to let you know that this year, and going forward, we are going to halt the 'old world pigeon shoot."
Another email read, "I know this event has caused some tension in the past, so I hope this move will allow us to rebuild those relationships."
The shoot had come under criticism for allegedly using tagged pigeons that were hand thrown in the air, instead of hunting wild ones.
In a statement, Inhofe campaign spokesman Luke Holland said:
The Inhofe campaign has long held a very successful dove hunt event each year. In a few recent years, the event has included a pigeon shoot. This year we will not have that component of the event and will return to our traditional format; we expect it to be a record year and hope everyone who attends has a wonderful time.