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Animal protection group claims Inhofe held "cruel" fundraiser

The animal protection organization group SHARK says Senator Jim Inhofe's pigeon shoot was animal cruelty. Image: SHARK/YouTube

Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe is under fire from an animal rights group that says his pigeon shoot to raise money for his re-election campaign was cruel to the animals.The group S.H.A.R.K., Showing Animals Kindness And Respect, claims it got video of the event that happened at the Quartz Mountain Lodge in Lone Wolf a few weeks ago. S.H.A.R.K. president Steve Hindi said he was tipped off to the event by someone claiming to be an Inhofe supporter that didn't agree with the fundraiser. Hindi said after he learned about the event, he had someone from his group go get video. Inhofe's office says most of the tickets were $500 a piece, to support the senator's re-election campaign. The event's flier called it an "old world pigeon shoot."In the video allegedly shot from inside the event, you can see the pigeons are kept in cages and then thrown into the air to groups of people ready to fire at them. Click here to see the video.Hindi says some of the pigeons didn't die immediately after being hit, and suffered while limping around."Those animals, they an linger for hours, or days, they can suffer before they die of hunger, thirst, infection, predation, exposure, it's really a horrible thing that happened to those animals," Hindi says. In the background, a mariachi band played as a man identified in the video as Senator Inhofe and other shoot the birds.Senator Inhofe's campaign tells FOX25 they felt the pigeons were treated humanely because they were kept shaded and watered before being released. In a statement, the campaign also says "Senator Inhofe agrees with the NRA that pigeon shoots are a 'longstanding traditional shooting sport.'"The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation says there aren't any laws regulating pigeon hunting because pigeons are not native to the state. Because of that, no hunting license in required. Inhofe's campaign says it has been hosting the annual "Jim Inhofe Dove Hunt" for ten years.
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