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Animal activists hold vigil ahead of North Huntingdon goose hunts

| Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 6:01 p.m.

An animal activist group held a candlelight vigil Sunday in North Huntingdon to protest four planned Canada goose hunts scheduled to begin today at Indian Lake.

The 5 p.m. vigil at the Town House on Center Highway was organized after several concerned local residents contacted Voices for Animals of Western Pennsylvania, an all-volunteer group which last summer led a similar campaign against goose hunts carried out at North Park in Allegheny County. The shoots at Indian Lake are scheduled for today, Dec. 12, Dec. 17 and Dec. 19.

Group officials such as spokesperson Lindsay Zurosky recently wrote township Manager Kelly Wolfe to recommend the humane, non-lethal integrated goose management policy promoted by GeesePeace, an organization that has managed sites frequented by Canada geese.

"These shoots have nothing to do with goose control, or with sport. These are basically canned hunts, firing at semi-tame birds who have learned not to fear humans and are therefore an easy target," Zurosky said.

Wolfe was unavailable Sunday for comment. Township police Lt. Rod Mahinske said yesterday that the vigil was permissible.

"That's their right, as long as they don't screw up the property or anything, it's no big deal to us," Mahinske said.

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