Shooting live, purpose-bred birds is not sport

Posted on the 1st September 2023

Today marks the start of the partridge shooting season, when these poor, innocent birds will be shot for ‘sport’.

In another month, the same cruel end awaits millions of pheasants. Every year, around 60 million pheasants and partridges are purpose-bred – often on factory farms – just to be used as targets for shooters.

Millions of birds will have already been released into the countryside, despite the risks they pose of transmitting bird flu to wild birds. Animal Aid, as well as the RSPB and others, have asked the government to ban the release of pheasants and partridges into the countryside – but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears, even though bird flu has been found in game birds.

Many partridges and pheasants used for breeding purposes are imprisoned in terrible cages, which are so stressful to the birds that they attack one another in their desperation. To prevent damage to their ‘property’, gamekeepers fix ‘bits’ over the birds’ beaks to lessen the amount of physical damage they can do to one another. But it does nothing to deal with the original stress.

We have also witnessed the heartbreaking destruction of tiny chicks, presumably deemed to be too poor quality for this ruthless industry. Our undercover team filmed unhatched eggs and even live chicks being thrown into a giant grinding machine, known as a macerator.

There is so much that is cruel and destructive about the shooting industry – but as a first step, please back our call to ban the use of the dreadful battery cages that are used to imprison pheasants and partridges.

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