They forgot the birds

The following images were photographed on a Scottish estate yesterday by one of our blog readers. They said:

We found a huge dump of badly decomposing pheasants and partridge plus many recently killed birds. The hillside is thick with them and the smell is really bad. There must be several hundred dumped birds“.

 Interestingly, in a letter to the Daily Telegraph in November 2005 headed ‘Game birds for eating not dumping’, Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance said this:

Every bird shot in Britain goes into the food chain, whether into participants’ freezers, or through game dealers into an increasing number of supermarkets, butchers, pubs and restaurants“.

Another embarrassing lie from the ‘custodians of the countryside’ exposed.

Cue influx of buzzards, kites and other predators coming to feast on these rotting carcasses and then subsequent complaints by the game-shooting industry that predators are at “plague proportions”.

Dumped game birds 3


62 thoughts on “They forgot the birds”

    1. It could be a very easy hoax to play, pheasants dead can be bought from shoots for a pound each, easy enough to do, its certainly got us all talking. If it is a genuine dumping then the people are very silly, the birds on all estates and shoots ive been on are all picked up and all either sold to the game dealer, given to guns or made use of, certainly not dumped . The place certainly needs to be named, even if the photographer stays secret.

      1. I was told by a beater on a shoot near me that the majority of partridges shot there are simply buried because people can’t be bothered with them. I suspect this happens a lot, but it’s difficult to prove because it’s all on private land.

  1. It seems reasonable here to name and shame. I’ll support you in that. You will have broken no laws and you can stay anon, but it really would be good to get this verified asap

  2. Another hideous example of killing for killing’s sake. I have compared the “driven game shooting industry” to primitive man’s efficient ways to feed their families. But the method has no practical purpose in modern society.

    Like the anglers stating their sport is about “outwitting a fish?”, game shooters have even less of an excuse when the birds are virtually thrown at their guns.

    We must pursue the government in getting this archaic, cruel and wasteful activity stopped.

    I do not wish to stop the shooter that goes out to get an animal for their own consumption but the wanton carnage from those that should be leading by example should be outlawed.

  3. Get these photographs published in the press. Offer them to the Telegraph and Guardian amongst others.

    Maybe the tabloids would pursue the matter.

    Send them to the RSPB.

    This activity needs publicising to increase awareness. Many folk do not know what goes on in our countryside and they should. Let them see how insane the country managers are.

    1. Doesn’t suprise in the least….I know a bin man who collects in a certain rural area and has taken away wheelie bins full of dead pheasants

      1. The photographer should give the location coordinates of the place to the authorities and the birding communities, so that independent verification can be done – in these cases it is important to get multiple corroborations, then there can be no doubt.
        I also think the are where the bin man collects loads of birds should also be reported to the police, the SSPCA, the RSPB and BAWC and Raptors. As Douglas says – do not keep it to yourself. You do not have to publish yourself but get other eyes on it.

        If we can get estate licensing approved (and this will help) then estates that indulge in this can have their licenses removed.

        We can do something positive and we should.

  4. Sorry but, the imager should name and shame if he or she has any thoughts for the birds destroyed and dumped. if they don’t then I refuse to believe this image is real and from a Scottish or any other British estate and I will just file under another idiot trying to cause trouble

    1. The decision to name and shame rests with the photographer. They may have very good reason not to – intimidation and retribution very common for whistleblowers. Local authority has been notified re: potential breach of regs for disposal of animal carcasses, pollution, health & safety, disease etc etc

  5. “Cue influx of buzzards, kites and other predators coming to feast on these rotting carcasses and then subsequent complaints by the game-shooting industry that predators are at “plague proportions””

    …not to mention the lead poisoning in the scavengers that take advantage of the easy meal.

    1. Yes, food for any Corvids, Raptors &/or Foxes, that is if any have been allowed to live on this estate, otherwise & more likely, they’ll just rot, or be eaten by rats. … However, from the report, the dead birds were .. “badly decomposing”, which would suggest that there are no raptors, corvids or Foxes left alive around there, to actually take advantage of this mess. … Hardly the picture of a healthy & balanced, natural environment.

    1. Don’t see any grouse in the pics! Why do grouse get targeted when the chicken rearing pheasant faternity do something bad? At least grouse are wild not reared to be shot and then dumped, how many times have grouse been found in heaps?

      1. John hodkinson, yes I did but chris Roberts said grouse shooting must be banned. Where did this come from when the pics are of pheasants and partridge?? Did you read the comments

  6. Surely the photographer only has to send in the coordinates of the dump to his local police and papers, even if he does this anonymously. They surely would be duty-bound to check it out as accurate and take appropriate action. Given the current pathetic record for so-called prosecutions, I reckon naming and shaming the estate via the media – especially in the national and local press, local and national TV, would serve a better purpose than relying on the toothless judiciary. Really these sickening images remind me of the dark days of the Victorian gamekeepers’ gibbets, though I have to confess that this is the first time I have seen the dumping/display of the quarry rather than predators! This was obviously done to attract the latter, and sure as hell the poisoning of the bait will be next, so prompt action is urgently needed before we have to read of more mass killings and slapped wrists. So come on ‘whistle-blower’, take a deep breath, report your find to the right people – and earn yourself our thanks and admiration. You obviously care, otherwise you wouldn’t have sent this blog in to RPS, so be true to yourself and don’t protect monsters who perpetrate such things in the name of ‘sport’. This is the best chance we have had to show to the general public. the real nature of these people who claim to be the ‘guardians of the countryside and moorlands . It will also prove once and for all what charlatans such as the SGA and Moorlands Association are. Hogg and Co. will probably claim the birds fell out of the sky like some biblical plague!

    1. Really?? What legislation? Fallen animals yes… It gets complicated also because these birds change their status from owned and responsibility of the estate/keeper when penned, to wild fowl when released (you have a job claiming fo smashed head lights) then back to reared and owned for the purpose of killing them… Coz ya not supposed to kill or disturb wild animals.. Can you disturb dead ones….uhm… You tell me!

  7. It just goes to show the thinking capacity of the self centred morons who run these shooting estates, it’s so low they don’t even know that what they are doing is so wrong. What chance has our protected wildlife got when its up against idiots like these who don’t even have the savvy to either sell the birds they shoot or give them away. Not only that, its obvious they don’t even care if people see what they get up to, they can’t even be bothered to bury or hide the carcases.

    These people need exposing, we need to publicise everything we find out about them, the news media definitely need to get their hands on this story before its conveniently made to disappear, (if hasn’t done so already).

  8. There are excusable reasons game could waste (freezer breakdown etc) so that is why it is important this needs investigated. The birds could have also been breasted out, getting their prime meat value. Putting both of those potential reasonings aside it would still not excuse dumping carcasses in the wild without burial, and is probably illegal anyway (Re FSA rules givering food hygiene cert).

    1. Stop press,,,, dumping the contents of a broken freezer is illegal…..

      Slip the grid ref to somebody who is prepared to find, photo and publish.

  9. Also re outlaw, it is illegal in the US to do waste game, and it respectfulness of quarry used to be part of the game licence that was scrapped for so many other reasons. Many would welcome such legislation here too whether they are hunters, shooters (as I like to make the distinction) or not

  10. I’ve often wondered what would be reveiled if some media outlet or other organisation went undercover and worked at one of these shooting estates for a year or 2. I think the public would find the dirty secrets uncovered deeply shocking and it might finally motivate politicians to do something about the kid glove treatment of criminal gamekeepers and estates by the law in this country

  11. There are so many rules regarding disposal of animal waste, how can anyone get away with this. I guess it’s in the middle of an estate where they think no’one can see. I am not personally against shooting , but think it needs to be licensed to stop this happening. It’s such a shame that to some people that the life of a bird is worth nothing

    1. I was once told by a gamekeeper that ran a shoot at a local estate that the majority of shot pheasants ended up in landfill

  12. If these photographs are real and the situation is as stated I fully agree the estate should be named it is unacceptable in modern estate management to carry out these practices. It must also be verified that this is a recent picture. In defence it is possible (you can’t tell by the photographs) is that some birds that are not taken by the game dealers are occasionally breasted out by the estate and used for shoot lunches etc. As this is often seen as the only cut worth taking the rest of the carcass is to be desposed of. This is what we could be seeing here.

  13. Blogmeister…this is a big one, I saw something much worse with dug pits full of dead pheasants waiting to be bulldozed..but sadly had no camera with the 1980s. I have been repeatedly told by estate owners that this doesnt happen – and see the above comment about ” someone trying to make trouble”..I know you will keep on the backs of the “authorities” until this is made public. Its of course not only disgusting to non-shooters but goes against any “sportsman’s” ethics – so a good one to push for condemnation from the shooting lobby as a whole. …….I hope that any other readers out there will now realise the importance of recording and reporting such things?

  14. Any shooting of any wild animal is wrong weather it is Pheasant,Partridge or Grouse they should be left in the wild,especially the grouse they don’t belong to shooters so what gives you the right to shoot them,maybe we should start a shooting season on the shooters sounds good to me and I’m a good shot !!!

    1. That’s a little naive Richard, some birds and animals need to be controlled for various reasons, usually as vermin or pest species. In some cases that is a legal responsibility, in others a financial necessity.
      Where control has to be done then shooting, for me at least is a more humane alternative than poisoning or gassing.
      My earlier point about pheasants and red legged partridges remains, they are an invasive introduced species and should not be here. That does not excuse the wastage shown I agree, everything edible that I shoot is used in the foodchain if only for dogfood but most gets eaten by my family and friends.
      Do this country a favour and use your shooting skills on grey squirrels, let’s see the native reds back where they should be.

  15. As a shooter (not pheasants or partridges) I find this horrific as well. Maybe the carcases were too badly damaged to be used for food. If that was the case they should have been buried.
    Looking at it from another view though, pheasants and red legged partridges are introduced species alien to this country as are grey squirrels, mitten crabs, American crayfish and many others. They should all be removed at every opportunity, in fact with grey squirrels if you trap one you are breaking the law if you release it alive.
    Personally I have no regard for the pheasant shooting fraternity or the landowners who make money from it, but neither have I any regard for pheasants and red legs, they shouldn’t be here. Remove them and make more space for native species. This would probably reduce the raptor population in those areas but judging from what I see there has been an explosion in the raptor population anyway.

  16. The reason it wont be b=named and shamed is because its a load of TOSH!! An anti hunter set up there isn’t hundreds of birds in any of those photos, and the heading is a play on the Botham thing where he took the RSPB to task over their dismal failure to protect BIRDS!! Diverting attention away from the real issue of their own bad press, how very say, YOU will never stop people shooting for their food, you idiotic hypocrites that sit up and feast on dead carcasses that grow on tree’s astounding fools!!!

    1. Nope mate I live on a shoot in Norfolk and know different. I don’t shoot but rear my own beef and lambs… And kill the myself… This dumping practice goes on and I have seen it… But hey this about you and your kind messing up up the natural balance with your non native birds… And hitting a pheasant is no sport…stick to skeet shooting…

  17. maybe photographer would be able to re take a shot including the days news paper………… the holocaust deniers would come up with another load of nonsense to defend those in the shooting industry that fall below the accepted standard or break the law.

  18. I beleven it is not illegal to dump game birds… When parts of dead piglets appeared on a freshly matured field here… The council called out weights and measures officer from trading standards…they got the farmer through the stray dogs act, which makes it an offence to encourage dogs to stray….they got a photograph of an errand Collie having a munch and threw the book at the farmer…. Next doors have a shooting syndicate and he stuff his Pidgeons in his muck heap…also some big shoots here dig a big hole and dump the bag in there… This is actually a pretty plausible story in my experience…

  19. I would suggest that perhaps SEPA are the people to call if you have an issue with this rather than SSPCA or RSPB (as suggested by someone else), who will be keen to have the photos but can probably do little else about it.
    SEPA have responsibility for overseeing regulations on waste disposal, including animal carcasses. I’m fairly confident that leaving a few dead wild pheasants out wouldn’t contravene any regs, but leaving large numbers of them to rot in the open surely does. In addition one might find that it the birds were pheasant poults that had died while still in a release pen, if so they may be classed as livestock and the restriction on dumping would be even tighter AND if they had died of disease rather than being shot it would be of even greater concern.
    So I suggest you report it to SEPA and let them investigate. It’s their job, not the SSPCA’s

  20. This is what our native wildlife and natural ecosystems are destroyed to produce – this surplus that is not even valued by the people who create it. Looks like the 21st century is just a distant dot on the horizon yet for Scotland.

  21. I find it very interesting and reassuring that there are so many shooters on here defending and reacting to the article… looks they are getting worried… keep up the good work… let us work to stop them getting it all their own way.. lets start handeling the untouchables!

  22. Any further updates on this. Not seen anything in the press about it so is it just a hoax ? why has the estate not been named ?.

  23. still no updates then, why wont someone post who took the photo and where, is all just hoax and stirring up the anties. I am a shooter and if this has actually happened then the estate or shoot should be named and shamed.
    I am totally against raptor persecution but to make broad statements against the shooting fraternity and label all who shoot as persecutors of raptors is wrong.

  24. Over 6 months and still no updates so was this just a bit of a “hate shooting” ?? If you are going to make a statement on global electronic media then back it up with facts.

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