People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is actively shopping for a drone that would “stalk hunters,” the organization said Monday.
The group says it will “soon have some impressive new weapons at its disposal to combat those who gun down deer and doves” and that it is “shopping for one or more drone aircraft with which to monitor those who are out in the woods with death on their minds.”
The group says it will not weaponize the drones, but will use them to film potentially illegal hunting activity and turn it over to law enforcement.
“The talk is usually about drones being used as killing machines, but PETA drones will be used to save lives,” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk said in a statement.
They are currently considering purchasing the CineStar Octocopter, which is capable of carrying a DSLR camera for up to 5 minutes. With smaller cameras, the drone can fly for about 20 minutes. The group says it also hopes to fly drones over factory farms, fishing spots and “other venues where animals routinely suffer and die.”
In order to legally operate the drone, it will likely need a certificate of authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration, a process which can take several months.
Kaitlynn Kelly, a representative for PETA, tells U.S. News that they will soon seek FAA approval but that they “hope this won’t be an issue,” and that they plan to have permission to fly beginning in the fall.
“We’re not releasing the locations that we have in mind, but we will look into the Northeast, bighorn sheep hunts and bowhunts because those are especially cruel,” she says.
The group may want to carefully monitor its drone—last year, an animal rights group drone was shot down while it was attempting to monitor pigeon hunters in South Carolina.
Get Ready To Drone-Proof Your House
Tim Faucett, who owns APlus Mobile which makes mobile computer units that manage robots and unmanned aircraft vehicles for the U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin, believes we’ll need to protect ourselves from drones, and not just the ones being piloted by the military and government.
“There are going to be private drones, there’s going to be commercial drones,” he told Co.Exist’s Zak Stone. “Everybody’s going to have access to a drone. And people are going to have good intentions with them, and people are going to have bad intentions with them.”
Don’t think Faucett is some kind paranoid conspiracy theorist — his claims are credible. Drones are being employed domestically for surveillance and law enforcement.
However, Faucett thinks we should be concerned about those with “bad intentions.” That’s why his startup Domestic Drone Countermeasures recently filed the first of nine patents for,as Stone put it, “a system that will detect and disable drones before they have the chance to film their targets.”
Faucett was hesitant to reveal too many details about the system, but he did say it would be able to identify UAVs by their electromagnetic signature, alert the system owner and “neutralize the drone’s capability to see you with its camera.”