Watchdog bites the Lady

Posted on the 28th November 2008

Ultra-posh purveyors of country fare, Daylesford Organic – run by Lady Carole Bamford, the wife of eye-wateringly wealthy JCB boss, Anthony Bamford – has fallen foul of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The watchdog branded as untruthful a recent quarter page Daily Telegraph advertisement, which falsely presented Daylesford’s shot pheasants as organic. The adjudication came after Daylesford were grassed up by Animal Aid.

Shot pheasants cannot be legally marketed as organic because of the cages, sheds, pens, drugs and anti-aggression devices that are typically employed whilst the birds are reared prior to being released for shooting. More critical still is the manner of their death at the hands of often untrained shooters. Many of the pheasants are not killed outright but crash-land from altitude. They are picked up alive by dogs and, if lucky, are dispatched by an enthusiastic beater with a wooden club, known as a priest. Not so fortunate are those who are wounded but not retrieved. Forty per cent of birds seen to be hit are wounded and go off to die what will often be a protracted and wretched death.

Such treatment, according to EU rules, means the birds cannot be classed as organic.

Daylesford Organic, which has outlets in Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and shops in Pimlico Road and Sloane Square, has promised the ASA it will not repeat its untruth.

Says Animal Aid Shooting Consultant, Kit Davidson:

‘No matter how much shot pheasants are dressed and marked up, they remain the sordid by-product of a cruel sport. No matter how much you pay for them, shot pheasants start their journey to your table as factory farmed birds, shot for fun and picked up by a dog from the mud. This year the Countryside Alliance is spending a quarter of a million pounds to persuade us to eat game. It wants us to eat game in a lame attempt to justify the cruelty. Game is the only food marketed by blood sports organisations.’

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