Animal Aid

Animal Aid's shooting challenge to Lib Dem delegates

Posted 14 September 2010

Date: 20 September 2010
Time: 1pm
Location: Liverpool Conference Centre demonstration area, corner of Gower Street and Strand, Liverpool

Animal Aid’s giant mascot, Phileas the Pheasant, will be calling on the Liberal Democrat Party Conference in Liverpool to remind delegates that the ‘game bird’ industry is not – as proponents describe it – dedicated to the harvesting of a natural resource, but involves the intensive production of 50 million pheasants and partridges every year so that they can be used as feathered targets.

For more than a decade, Animal Aid has been exposing the industry – through detailed research, undercover investigations and public and political campaigning. It was largely as a result of the group’s long-standing opposition to metal battery cages for breeding pheasants that the contraptions were finally banned in the last days of the Labour government – only for the new Hunting and Shooting Minister, Jim Paice, to overturn the prohibition.

Animal Aid activists at the Liverpool Conference Centre will be challenging Lib Dem delegates to make plain, to Lib Dem government ministers, their opposition to this cruel and retrograde development.

Animal Aid representatives will also be leafleting the public in the city centre, and informing them about the different aspects of the ‘game bird’ industry: the oppressive conditions in which birds are confined in game breeding establishments; the mass slaughter of indigenous mammals and birds aimed at protecting the industry’s profits; the destructive environmental consequences, including the annual dispersal of thousands of tons of toxic lead shot; and the widespread failure to pay business rates and VAT.

The public will be asked to sign a petition calling for a ban on the production of birds for ‘sport shooting’. Such a ban has been in place in Holland since 2002.

Says Animal Aid Director, Andrew Tyler:

‘Many people still think that shooters kill a bird or two 'for the pot'. Once they realise that pheasants and partridges are mass-produced on an industrial scale, to be shot at for pleasure, their reaction is typically one of disbelief and horror. And the fact that only a small percentage of the birds [see Notes] are eaten, puts paid to the pro-shooting argument that the game bird industry is about the production of food. It is actually about killing for pleasure, which is a truly warped and disturbing impulse. Animal Aid’s National Anti-Shooting Week aims to build public support for a total ban on the production of game birds to be shot for sport.’

Notes to Editors:

  • For further information and interviews, contact Andrew Tyler or Kit Davidson on 01732 364546.
  • Annually in Britain, around 50 million pheasants and partridges are purpose-bred. According to industry figures, ‘only’ around 18 million of this total are shot and retrieved. Of that 18 million, industry data further reveal that fewer than eight million are sold to game dealers. It is claimed that the remaining 10 million are handed over to shooters or taken by shoot operators. For more information, read The Trouble with Shooting.
  • For full background, visit: http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/CAMPAIGNS/pheasant/ALL///

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