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Thursday, 11 April 2013 15:58

Eye in the Sky for Hunting and Fishing Law Enforcement

We at Shotem and Caughtem have been made aware, in what might be just a publicity stunt, the organization PETA might begin using drones over popular hunting and fishing areas to video tape and enforce laws and regulations.  PETA plans to purchase several Aerobot Cinestar Octocopters--eight-rotored octocopters designed for use by the film industry and landscape architects. The Cinestar is designed to carry heavy cameras and has a 20 minute flight time when carrying smaller cameras; it is also intended for use by a two-person crew.  Once deployed, the animal rights organization says it will use the UAVs to collect footage of illegal activity such as hunters drinking while in possession of a firearm, maiming animals for fun (leading to possible persecution on animal cruelty counts), and using locally-forbidden hunting or fishing enhancements such as spotlights and speed lures. In a prepared statement, PETA's Ingrid Newkirk said that “Slob hunters may need to rethink the idea that they can get away with murder, alone out there in the woods with no one watching.”



PETA is not the first animal rights organization to use UAVs to monitor hunters, although they will be one of the first to do so within the United States if the project goes forward. In 2012, the World Wildlife Fund launched anti-poacher drones in Africa designed to provide law enforcement with video proof of poacher wrongdoing and real-time intelligence. But while the World Wildlife Fund project involves local authorities, the PETA project appears to be independent. In late 2012, a South Carolina-based advocacy group called Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) had their drone shot down while monitoring a pigeon hunt.

The animal rights group also says they will try using the UAVs to monitor wrongdoing at factory farms, which could provide a way to sidestep recently passed anti-whistleblower laws in the agriculture sector

Let us know how you feel about this potential usage of drones over your favorite areas in the comment section below.

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