Animal Aid

Labour Supports Bloodsports

Posted 20 November 2007

Although Labour succeeded in pushing through a ban on hunting with dogs, the government is trying to appease bloodsports enthusiasts by its wholehearted support for the production each year of some 40 million pheasants and partridges to be shot for 'sport'.

At its recent Party Conference, Labour vice chair and Reading West MP Martin Salter hosted a reception for pro-shoot lobby group, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC). Salter was recently made a BASC 'Centenary Patron'. Ministers who gave pro-shoot speeches at the event included the Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe; Rural Affairs Minister, Jonathan Shaw; and Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker.

Another Labour Party key figure who supports the shooting lobby is Animal Welfare Minister, Jeff Rooker. He is in charge of overseeing the 2006 Animal Welfare Act, which promises greater protection for many animals. However, pro-bloodsports enthusiasts are determined to misuse the Act and through it legitimise the mass production of pheasants and partridges for the shooting industry.

In Labour’s 2005 Charter for Shooting, the party stated ‘We have gone beyond our existing commitment not to place “restrictions on the sports of angling and shooting”. We want to take action to encourage, develop and enhance these fine sports …’.


  • Please write to your MP of whichever party to register your disgust with Labour’s promotion of shooting, and ask your MP to contact Hilary Benn (Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) to demand an end to the mass production of birds to be shot for sport.
  • Get involved in our ‘Labour Supports Bloodsports’ Weekend of Action on 15 & 16 December. We are asking supporters to set up street stalls in their local area and canvas support for our campaign to ban the breeding of birds for sport, using our new leaflet. Contact us with the title ‘shoot weekend of action’ if you would like to set up a stall in your area.
  • Click here for more background on the shooting industry.
  • Click here to watch our latest undercover investigation into pheasant breeding battery cages.
  • Click here to read our report on Gamebird Battery Cages and the Animal Welfare Act.
  • Click here to read what pro-shoot MPs have to say.

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