Animal Aid

BIRD FLU CRISIS: GOVERNMENT URGED TO BAN GAME BIRD PRODUCTION

Posted 28 October 2005

Animal Aid has called upon the government to close a gaping loophole in emergency measures designed to minimise transmission of bird flu. It must rule that game bird production for the 2006 season cannot go ahead.

Every year, the game bird industry mass-produces and releases some 35 million pheasants and partridges into the British countryside. They are released to be shot for pleasure, but many die before they are gunned down. Others are wounded and never recovered, and some escape the guns. In all these cases, they present a totally unnecessary and potentially potent source of cross-contamination.

It makes no sense, insists the national campaign group, to consider confining to sheds the UK free range poultry flock whilst, at the same time, deliberately releasing millions of game birds into the countryside.

Said Animal Aid Director, Andrew Tyler:

"The shooting industry has conned the government into believing that it is engaged in a wholesome, traditional and even fair-minded enterprise. In response, the government has pledged not just to defend but also to promote the intensive rearing and shooting of birds for "sport". From this cosy relationship flow irrational and hypocritical policy decisions."

Notes to Editors

  • To arrange an interview with Andrew Tyler, please call 01732 364546, ext 228.
  • We have an ISDN line for broadcast quality interviews
  • For background information on the shooting industry, see Animal Aid's report Assault and Battery.
  • Photographs and undercover footage of pheasant rearing systems available on request.

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