Lawsuit over Holley 'squirrel slam' reinstated by court
Holley, N.Y. (WHAM) - A lawsuit to end a squirrel hunting contest in Orleans County has been reinstated by a state appellate court.
In 2014, Justice James Punch summarily dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the "Hazzard County Squirrel Slam" run by the Holley Fire Department.
However, this year Justice Punch was found to have violated the plaintiff's rights by the summary dismissal. This returned the case to Albion for further legal action.
Animal rights activists have protested the competition, saying the February hunt happens during breeding periods and it is environmentally harmful to the squirrel population.
The Holley Fire Department stands by the event, saying it helps to control the population in the area and also supports the department.
Over the last ten years, the event has grown to include more than 600 participants.
Dennis Bauer, the man who created the Squirrel Slam, said in 2015 that it isn't harmful to the environment.
"Everybody goes to their own land, they shoot a couple of squirrels, and they bring them back," Bauer said. "We're not hurting the land anywhere."