More than 10,000 animal lovers call on Natural Resources Wales to ban shooting

Posted on the 26th July 2017

As Natural Resources Wales prepares for a public consultation on whether to continue to allow shooting on its land, an Animal Aid petition calling for a ban rises to 10,000 signatures.

A petition to the National Assembly of Wales, which calls for a ban on shooting ‘game birds’ on Natural Resources Wales’ (NRW) land, has been signed by more than 10,000 people. The petition, which was launched in 2016, has had a surge of signatories following the release of an Animal Aid undercover investigation on NRW land.

On 19 June an Animal Aid investigator visited the land leased for shooting by NRW at Cwm Gwnen and was shocked to see an estimated 35-40 young pheasants dead on the ground inside a release pen.

On an adjacent piece of land were four dead birds who had become stuck in between two sections of wire mesh, and who had most likely died from either dehydration or strangulation.

Another three birds trapped in between the two sets of wire mesh were still alive. Animal Aid’s investigator managed to free them from the mesh.

Animal Aid promptly contacted NRW, asking it to take action to check the health of the remaining birds. We were disappointed that it took the agency five days to visit the site, long after it had informed the tenant of our findings.

The public, however, has given out a clear message that it wants to see an end to the killing of birds on land which is managed by NRW.

Says Fiona Pereira, Campaign Manager at Animal Aid:

‘We are delighted at the strength of public opinion in opposing the killing of birds for so-called sport. We hope that NRW takes notice of the petition and of the findings of our undercover investigation.

‘Not only is the rearing of birds to be used as live targets cruel and uncivilised, but our latest investigation would suggest that NRW does not have the resources to check on animal welfare on its land. We urge NRW to listen to the public, and to take the compassionate decision to ban shooting on its land. These areas should instead be used for positive, wildlife-friendly educational and leisure activities.’

Editors’ Notes:

For more information, contact Isobel Hutchinson or Fiona Pereira on 01732 364546

  • To date (26 July), 10,695 people have signed the petition.
  • Sign the petition
  • See the photos and video footage from the investigation
  • See our factsheet here
  • Visit our dedicated microsite
  • The petition reads: ‘We call on the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to ensure that Natural Resources Wales, as the Welsh Government-Sponsored Body responsible, stops leasing out public land to commercial shooting operations. NRW’s key constitutional function is to act as an environmental steward of the land that it manages on behalf of the Welsh Government and citizens. But leasing this land to shooting operations negatively impacts on conservation, biodiversity and animal welfare. Shooting also pollutes the land with toxic lead shot which is responsible for poisoning and killing many animals. NRW’s shooting leases facilitate an activity that is abhorrent to many Welsh citizens: the killing of animals for ‘sport’. The leases also mean that public access to land that is owned by Welsh citizens can be restricted.’

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