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Pro-Bloodsports MP Ben Bradshaw Under Fire During National Anti-Shooting Week
Posted 19 September 2008
Date: 26 September 2008
Location: Corner of High Street and Bedford Street, Exeter
During National Anti-Shooting Week, Animal Aid’s new mascot – Phileas the Pheasant – will be visiting Exeter to draw attention to the government’s promotion of the cruel ‘sport’ of gamebird shooting. Annually, more than 40 million pheasants and partridges are intensively reared to be used as feathered targets, with hundreds of thousands of breeding birds confined inside metal battery cages.
Exeter has been chosen because local MP and former Animal Welfare Minister, Ben Bradshaw, was instrumental in forging Labour’s new pro-shooting policy. In the Party’s 2005 Charter for Shooting – which pledged to ‘actively encourage’ people to take up shooting – Bradshaw wrote: ‘We will liberalise the outdated game shooting and licensing laws to boost the important contribution shooting makes to the rural economy.’*
And in a 2005 parliamentary debate, he pledged ‘to abolish game shooting and dealing licences, which are archaic. That will give a welcome boost to the game shooting industry.’ His promise was kept.
Although Bradshaw is now in a different post, the government’s support for bird shooting is greater than ever. Statements by key government and party figures confirm that promoting the killing of birds for sport is indeed now government policy.
Animal Aid’s new hard-hitting viral film has been launched to coincide with the start of National Anti-Shooting Week. Showing the brutality, wastefulness and greed of the gamebird industry, it has been sent to every MP, calling on them to press the government to change its policy over the shooting of live quarry.
Says Animal Aid Director, Andrew Tyler:
‘The government is applying an irrational double standard to bloodsports - banning hunting with dogs whilst cosying up to the pro-shoot lobby. Animal Aid’s National Anti-Shooting Week will expose this hypocrisy to people across the country. We have also alerted every Labour backbench MP to the fact that, with Cameron’s Tories on the ascendant, this issue places Labour parliamentary seats at serious risk.’
Notes to Editor:
- For full background and interviews, contact Andrew Tyler on 01732 364546
- ISDN line available for broadcast-quality interviews
- Images are available on request
- Watch the film