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Using Drones to Save Animals

From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report.

People are finding new ways to use aerial vehicles, commonly called drones. An organization called DIY Drones says it has more than 40,000 members who build and fly such aircraft.

Rescue teams, police and others are developing new uses and technology for drones. But, what seems like a good activity for one group may seem like a threat to another. Recently, the group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, made an announcement. The group said that it was negotiating with a drone manufacturer.

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk says often drones are considered unmanned killing machines. But, she says her group believes they can also be used to save lives. The PETA website says the group would use drones to record cruelty to farm animals and illegal hunting methods. The website says this would help enforce animal protection laws.

PETA's president says hunters sometimes put out food to get the attention of animals they want to shoot. However, Ingrid Newkirk says it is illegal to bait animals. She says drones could be used to identify lawbreakers. Hunting and gun rights groups oppose PETA's plan to watch and record images of hunters from the sky. They say the plan would violate the privacy of gun owners and their right to enjoy the outdoors. Local and federal lawmakers were already debating the issues raised by police use of drones. Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union wanted laws to prevent law enforcement agencies from watching people. They warn that without legal restrictions, the technology could be used to spy on citizens.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Carolyn Presutti.

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