Animal Aid

Help Ban Gamebird Breeding Cages

Posted 22 December 2009

A draft Code of Practice on the Welfare of Gamebirds Reared for Sporting Purposes has been published by the Gamebird Working Group, which was established under the 2006 Animal Welfare Act. The Working Group looked at a broad range of issues relating to game bird production, including diet, veterinary care, transportation and housing.

The draft Code is open to public consultation, which ends on 18 January 2010. We would like as many people as possible to write to DEFRA, calling for a ban on the use of battery cages and of devices that restrain and restrict the vision of birds during their breeding and growing cycle.

1) On the issue of battery cages for breeding birds, the draft Code offers three options for public consultation – to keep the cage system as it stands, to allow 'enriched' cages, or to ban the cages outright.

Please call for an outright ban on the cages.

2) Another especially contentious area is the industry's routine use of various restraint and vision-limiting devices on birds as they pass from cages to sheds and finally to the large pens, in which they are held prior to release for shooting. Apart from calling for a ban on the nasal septum-piercing bits, the draft Code fails to set out clear restrictions. Typically, it urges that the devices should not be 'generally' or 'routinely' used.

Please call for an outright ban on all restraint and vision-limiting devices.

3) You may also wish to leave additional comments on the rest of the Code.

Please send a concise and polite response to:

  1. By e-mail to
  2. Or by post: Phil Alder, Defra, Animal Welfare Act Implementation Team, Area 8B, 9 Millbank, c/o 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR.
  3. Or by fax: 020 7238 6009 clearly stating the name of the consultation and addressed to the Animal Welfare Team.

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