The animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced plans on Monday for a drone program that will use remote-controlled aircraft to keep an eye on hunters. According to a press release, the group is actively shopping for drones to include in the program. The top contender is Aerobot’s state-of-the-art CineStar Octocopter, although it remains to be seen which particular drone type the organization will choose.
“The talk is usually about drones being used as killing machines, but PETA drones will be used to save lives,” says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. “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.”
The program will fly drones over popular hunting and fishing spots, although specific locations have not been released. PETA intends on using the devices to record illegal activity and combat those that “gun down deer and doves.” The drones will not have any weapon capabilities.
The reaction from sportsmen to this program has been overwhelmingly negative. While a number of hunters approve of anti-poaching drones such as those supplementing conservation forces in Nepal and Kenya, some say that based on PETA’s past history with hunting, law-abiding outdoorsmen will be targeted. Many worry that the drones will accomplish nothing more than to harass hunters and anglers.
“While hunters disguise themselves as trees and pretend they are ducks, it is only fair to give animals something to fight back with,” wrote activist Alisa Mullins on PETA’s official blog.
You can read PETA’s announcement here.
A demonstration of the Cinestar Octocopter can be seen below, operated by a non-PETA affiliated hobbyist: