The pheasant industry – in its own words…

Posted on the 1st December 2001

Some recent quotes from the pro-shooting lobby.

Shooting Times & Country Magazine

The Taste of Victory
Comment, Julian Murray-Evans, Editor, 30 August 2001 

“It is staggering, and more than a little embarrassing, that far too many shooters don’t eat the game they shoot. If we don’t do our bit, then how can anyone complain about low game prices and attacks on rearing. We have to ‘Eat for victory’.”

Will Big Bags Finish Us Off?
John Swift, Chief Executive, British Association of Shooting and Conservation, 26 April 2001

“Within the sport, people have real concerns that the shooting of excessive bags is distasteful and is tarnishing their image and reputation. There is real anxiety…”

Country Life

Pheasants: Feathered Targets or Food?
Comment, 1 February 2001

“…many large estates now shoot four or even five days a week from November to the end of January, killing as many as 2,000 birds a week. Shooting on such a large scale can be justified if there is a ready market for the birds bagged. This no longer exists. During this past season the price paid by game dealers for a brace of pheasants has fallen to between 60p and 80p a brace. In some areas, over-supply has led to shoots being forced to give away their bags, or, worse still, bury their surplus…”

“Worryingly, on many commercial shoots, pheasants and partridges are regarded as feathered targets, not food. Many people who shoot even decline to take home their traditional brace of birds…”

“Rearing and releasing game for shooting has already been outlawed in Holland, and there seems little doubt that coming years will see the threat of similar legislation in this country. If such legislation is to be avoided, then a radical rethink of lowland game shooting is essential…”

The Countryman’s Weekly

Greed and Excess Results in Big Bag Syndrome
Nimrod column, 20 July 2001

“Huge numbers of birds are being reared to provide bags of 400 to 500 or more birds a day, five days a week, at a time when game dealers are paying pennies for dead game and even, in some cases, taking birds away for nothing.

“Reports of 40 pheasants to the acre circulate, an imbalance which must inevitably affect the environment into which they are released, while rumours of birds being buried for lack of a market are also rife…”

Shooting Times

Filthy Bad Manners: An Ideal Day’s Shooting is Ruined
Columnist Laurence Catlow, 18 January 2001

“Gunfire greeted virtually every bird that flushed, whether at point blank range or at 20 yards beyond its further limit; height was immaterial; speed was of no importance. As long as a bird was moving and off the ground it was fine and fair game; once it had fallen to the ground, it was very likely to be forgotten…”

Richmond Borough Guardian

Everyday Story of Country Folk
Letters page, 2 November 2000

“I worked as a beater… on several occasions. We were instructed to scare the birds into the air anyway we could, if not a poke up the backside with a stick, then a little encouragement with the boot would do. Sometimes the cowering birds were simply picked up and launched on high… After simulating the sound effects of the third battle of the Somme, [the shooters] retired to celebrate another successful day. The gamekeeper counted the decimated corpses and instructed that they should be ploughed into the earth.”


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