Video: Animal Aid tackles “dirty secret” of shooting industry

Game birds at breeding grounds. Undercover images courtesy of Animal Aid
Game birds at breeding grounds. Undercover images courtesy of Animal Aid

Animal Aid will show Warwick the shooting industry’s “dirty secret” on Thursday in hope of generating support to lobby MPs for welfare changes.

The charity’s Battle Bus will screen undercover footage filmed across the UK which shows the “appalling” metal battery boxes that are used to keep partridges for breeding by the shooting industry.

The charity hopes that by showing members of the public the conditions in which many game birds are kept, they will add to calls for change to be made by Parliament against caging of the animals.

A spokesperson for the animal welfare charity said being entirely barren and without any enrichment for the birds, boxes fail to meet standards of the official welfare code.

Showing scenes from Suffolk and a large farm in Wales, campaigners understand that the cages are typical of those used by breeders across the country.

Campaign manager Fiona Pereira said: “Over the years, Animal Aid has conducted detailed undercover investigations of game farms across the country. Despite our findings pointing to serious welfare breaches, the government seems determined to turn a blind eye.

Game birds at breeding grounds. Undercover images courtesy of Animal Aid

Game birds at breeding grounds. Undercover images courtesy of Animal Aid

“Animal Aid has highlighted the raised laying units, in which breeding birds are incarcerated, as being particularly abhorrent and we are determined to see an end to them.”

The images and footage shows a large industrial pheasant plant where eight to ten females and one male are enclosed in each mesh box which contains only one tree stump and no foraging materials.

The offspring of these partridges and pheasants are destined to be shot for sport by wealthy shooters.

Animal Aid has questioned the Government and sought official answers regarding how many farms across the country use the barren units that breach the government’s own Code of Practice, as well as calling for remedial action to be taken against offenders.

The first step of the campaign is to persuade as many MPs as possible to sign an Early Day Motion (EDM 402) calling for such a ban.

Animal Aid’s Battle Bus will be in Warwick on 10 December.

Find out more via the Animal Aid website on how you can get involved.