(CBC Canada) The mayor of St. John’s has called for an investigation into allegations that paintball enthusiasts may be using squirrels for target practice — a charge that a local company vigorously denies. Mayor Andy Wells, who admits he has no proof that the allegations are true, wants the SPCA and the city’s humane services officials to follow through on a complaint filed by a constituent. “[She said] there were bodies of dead squirrels around and covered in paint. … It looks like people who are playing paintball are using the animals as targets,” said Wells.
Mystech: In my defense, it’s not my fault the high velocity paintball looks like a candied acorn. I swear the squirrel jumped up and caught it… twenty times.
“If it’s true, it’s very cruel. Why should animals be used for human amusement?”
Wells, who distributed his concerns in a note sent to local newsrooms, named Frontline Paintball as the business that the city’s Humane Services Division is investigating.
He also asked anyone with more information to call the city or the SPCA.
Company wants apology from mayor
Tom Davis, the general manager of Frontline Paintball, said there is no truth to what Wells was told, and that he wants an apology.
“I’ve never personally seen anyone kill any wildlife and it is something that if we did see, we would deal with very harshly,” Davis said.
As well, Frontline Paintball does not operate in St. John’s, but in the neighbouring city of Mount Pearl.
Davis said he is afraid the reputations of his company and the sport of paintball have been damaged by Wells’s comments. He said he would like to know why Wells did not call him first.
Wells said he received the complaint from a woman he described as sounding credible, and that he would only like the issue investigated.