‘Game’ bird shooting

Every year in Britain, around 50 million pheasants and partridges are mass-produced in cages, hatcheries, sheds and pens so that they can be shot down by wealthy ‘guns’, who commonly pay £1,000 per day for the ‘privilege’. Hundreds of thousands of ‘game’ birds, used for egg production, are confined for the whole of their lives in metal battery cages, known as raised laying units. Grouse are also classed as ‘game’. Around half a million of these birds are killed every year in Britain for ‘sport’ by some of the wealthiest and influential individuals in the land. Any wild animal deemed to be a threat to the brief survival of the grouse (including stoats, weasels and even iconic raptors such as hen harriers, red kites and golden eagles) are legally or illegally trapped, snared, or poisoned. In order to create a landscape for feeding and sheltering the grouse, ecologically precious blanket bog is burned and drained. In addition, around 1 million ducks are shot for sport between 1 September and 31 January – the majority purpose bred in sheds.

Animal Aid is calling for a ban on the use of battery cages for pheasant and partridge production. We are also campaigning for an end to all public subsidies to grouse shoots and the introduction of state licensing for shoots and gamekeepers – the retention of such licences to be dependent on the licensees staying within the wildlife protection laws.

Write to your MP

The truth about pheasant and partridge production

The shooting industry mass produces some 50 million pheasants and partridges every year to be shot for sport. They rear them in battery cages, industrial hatcheries, shed and pens. This is bad enough, but gamekeepers also trap, shoot and illegally poison huge numbers of indigenous mammals and birds – from stoats and foxes to hen harriers and buzzards. The industry seeks to justify this vicious activity by labelling the victims as vermin and pests that are a threat to their interest.

Get involved in National Anti-shooting Week

The truth about grouse production

Grouse moor owners, supported by millions of pounds of taxpayer subsidies, are brutally killing and maiming huge number of wild animals and leaving vast swathes of precious peatland burnt dry and scarred with vehicle tracks. This is all so that unnaturally large populations of red grouse can nurtured as live targets for ‘guns’, who can pay more than £3,000 for a single day’s bloody entertainment.

Read more and watch our film

Key Reports and Briefings

Animal Aid continues to produce revealing and thoroughly researched reports and Briefings on a wide range of topics related to shooting industry. They include the public subsidies paid to millionaire grouse shoot owners, the battery cages used to raise pheasants and partridges, and how the shooting industry tries to make ‘game’ bird shooting attractive to children.

See our key reports

Campaign news