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Animal Aid brings anti-cruelty message to Newbury
Posted 16 September 2011
To mark Animal Aid’s National Anti-Shooting Week, the campaign group’s giant mascot, Phileas the Pheasant, will visit Newbury to urge local MP and Defra Minister, Richard Benyon, to work urgently for an end to the production of birds for ‘game’ shooting.
Date: 21 September 2011
Location: Photo call at the Office of Richard Benyon MP, 6 Cheap Street, Newbury, RG14 5DD
The coalition government has faced widespread criticism following the decision by Hunting and Shooting Minister Jim Paice to overturn a Labour government ban on battery cages for breeding pheasants.
After visiting Mr Benyon’s office, Animal Aid supporters will be asking Newbury residents to sign a petition calling for an end to the purpose breeding of birds for shooting. Such a ban has been in place in Holland since 2002. The supporters will also be handing out Animal Aid’s booklet The Trouble with Shooting to remind residents 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 millions of pheasants and partridges every year to be used as feathered targets.
Last week, the national campaign group released details of a new investigation, based on covert filming at game breeding farms in three counties. The footage shows a large number of dead and ailing birds, as well as the disposal areas of two establishments crawling with maggots.
For more than a decade, Animal Aid has been exposing the shooting 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 Jim Paice to overturn that prohibition.
Similar protests, directed at Secretary of State Caroline Spelman (Solihull), Lord Henley (Carlisle) and Jim Paice (Ely), will follow.
Says Animal Aid Director, Andrew Tyler:
‘Thanks to the shooting industry’s deceitful propaganda, a great many people in Britain do not realise that, every year, around 50 million pheasants and partridges are intensively reared especially so that they can be shot for the sheer pleasure of killing them. Most are not eaten. The meagre protection these birds receive during the production phase has been reduced still further, thanks to the callous disregard for their welfare demonstrated by Coalition Defra Ministers. National Anti-Shooting Week is a chance to hold them accountable for their actions and 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. The Trouble with Shooting outlines 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.
- For full background, visit: http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/CAMPAIGNS/pheasant/ALL///