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Injunction seeks to stop ‘Squirrel Slam’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Orleans County judge will decide on Thursday if hunting competition will go on

Photo by Tom Rivers – Richard Brummel walks out of the Orleans County Courthouse today at about 5 p.m. after filing an injunction to stop the Holley Squirrel Slam, saying the hunting event damages the environment.

ALBION – A Long Island man filed an injunction in Orleans County today, seeking to stop the “Squirrel Slam” run by the Holley Fire Department.

Richard Brummel made the trip across the state and arrived in the courthouse at about 4:20 p.m. He filed the injunction in the courthouse and county clerk’s office. Orleans County Court Judge James Punch is expected to make his decision on Thursday morning, whether the Squirrel Slam will go on or not.

The Squirrel Slam has been criticized by animal rights’ groups. Some protestors on behalf of Friends of Animals have protested the last two Squirrel Slams in late February. Some state legislators have proposed legislation to ban hunting contests where participants shoot animals.

Participants in last year’s Squirrel Slam on Feb. 22, 2014, carry squirrels to the Holley fire hall to be weighed.

Brummel filed the injunction on behalf Lauren Sheive of Williamson in Wayne County. Brummel said he tried to get financing for the legal action from Friends of Animals, but was turned down.

Brummel said he is an environmental activist. He believes he has a compelling argument to stop the Squirrel Slam, or at least move to a different time of year when squirrels are less likely to be pregnant.

Brummel argues in the legal papers that the Holley Fire Department fails to comply with the State Environmental Quality Review Act with the hunting contest. (Last year’s event sold out with 650 people buying tickets. Each team of two hunters can kill a maximum of five squirrels for the contest. Prizes are awarded to hunters with the heaviest squirrels. The event raises about $4,000 in profit for the fire department.)

Brummel argues the event damages the environment – “large quantities of vegetation or fauna (animals).” The Holley Fire Department has failed to address that environmental impact with the hunt, Brummel said.