More shot pheasants dumped in North York Moors National Park

A couple of days ago we blogged about an article in the Gazette & Herald that showed sackfuls of shot pheasants that had been dumped in woodland in the North York Moors National Park (see here).

Here are some of the photographs the newspaper didn’t publish, presumably as they’re too grim. Thanks to the blog reader who sent them to us.

Welcome to the National Park!

27 thoughts on “More shot pheasants dumped in North York Moors National Park”

  1. I find groups of dead pheasants frequently in the local countryside (in mid-Devon). They are dumped in batches of about 4-10 birds along the hedgerows and verges of quiet country lanes and I only find them because our dog picks up the scent and disappears into the vegetation. Last year one batch included a Woodcock. I think this might be individuals who feel obligated to take away their share of the birds from a day’s pheasant shooting but quickly realise they don’t want them and so throw them into the hedge. For the record, I’ve never found any that have been ‘breasted’.

  2. This year I found 4 black bags of shot pheasants and several more of shot rabbits, which had been eviscerated but not skinned, dumped along the verges of a 2 mike stretch of the B4024 Dymock Road on the Herefordshire/Gloucestershire borders.

  3. Whatever the motives for doing this, and yes it seems totally wrong to rear and release into the country these alien birds for shotgun junkies to shoot and then for them to be fly tipped. It is offensive and an offence. It may also help the survival of all those young naive scavengers and predators they hate to survive the winter. So not only offensive but stupid too and bad for local ecology.

    1. Quite right Paul, but isn’t it always the case with everything they do, cruel,wrong and bad for nature.
      They make me sick.

  4. “Sport, what an absolute joke” a blind paraplegic with a nervous twitch could hit these targets, well done you fat tweeded out tosspots

  5. Clearly, pheasants should be micro-chipped, so that found birds can be returned to their owners. We can’t have them dumped in countryside, skewing predator populations.

  6. This beggars belief, 50 million pheasants let loose to ravage the countryside and causing much damage to the environment, shot and then dumpted.
    The bloodlust of men…

    1. I think if you look carefully Logan there are several breast bones standing proud. My view that they are breasted carcasses.

      1. It does nor matter one iota if they have been breasted, legged or eviscerated and made into haggis we are falling into their mindset if we debate at this level . These are the actions of morally degenerate sub humans , and I am sure it must be illegal on many counts .Are the national park authorities or the police investigating this? At the very least it must be a crime under environmental health or fly tipping legislation.

      2. Out of interest, how are birds ‘breasted’. I don’t know but I would have thought they need to be de-feathered first. In ‘breasting’ a bird the hunter/shooter/estate has, by law, to comply with hygiene regulations. I would be very surprised if a bird could be ‘breasted’ with its feathers on and that be perfectly legal, but I don’t know. I’d also be very surprised if the person had breasted a tiny number of birds and then discarded the remains of the breasted birds with the whole bodies of the huge number of other decomposing birds but I may be wrong. I’ve seen plenty of stink pit carcasses of birds and mammals that look like some of these birds. I’ve always assumed that something has eaten part of the carcases but I may be wrong. I’d be keen to learn more.

        J Coogan – I take your point. One or two breasted birds is neither here nor there and the whole situation is a disgusting disgrace. I merely want to learn.

        I think your letter writing idea is a good one so I will put pen to paper tonight and ask the police and National Park authorities various questions.

      3. Hi Mike

        I’ve checked out the FSA’s Wild Game Guide 2015. If you care to check it out, p23 deals with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles. Para 56 “The main hazards that may occur in meat are harmful food poisoning bacteria (like E.coli 0157, Salmonella and Campylobacter). These bacteria live in the guts of healthy animals, are shed in their faeces and can be carried on the hide, fleece, feathers or skin. They may then be transferred to meat/offal during dressing and can grow during production, storage or transport of the meat if the conditions, particularly temperature, are suitable.” Para 55 “dressing, particularly skin and feather removal and evisceration, is carried out hygienically and carcases are free from visible contamination.”. Just removing the breast meat whilst leaving the skin, feathers etc would breach the HACCP principles.

  7. Just waiting for Ian Botham or one of his mates to try and suggest that these birds have nothing to do with shooting and it is in fact all the RSPB’s fault!

  8. We are lax and too tolerant and therefore they know they can do what they like….
    Quoted from the gutter facebook pages…

    “Yes it’s pressure but let’s just take stock of the U.K. country sports situation compared to some European countries. We have a lot of positives. We can control vermin and predation generally without any licensing. We can release, feed and shoot game in a fairly liberal fashion. Individuals aren’t licensed to carry out the aforementioned activities. These are freedoms that some Europeans don’t have. We can use lead shot and shoot some quarry species day or night. We can set traps, snares and have a free market for the game industry.”

    This display of arrogance is fairly typical of what you find out there… and good reason for our existing laws to be enforced and proper regulation introduced. I know that they will “will die before they comply with regulation” but it is inevitable step before they are banned outright.

    2018…keep gathering the evidence…thats all we need. The criminals and thugs will condemn themselves.

    1. I hope that this is just laziness on the part of the shooting industry and not an attempt to attract and increase all forms of ‘vermin’ as an excuse for the need to shoot.

  9. So much for shooting being an essential part of the food chain! However, the figure of 50 million pheasants bred for shooting each year is unlikely to be accurate. The best figure I have seen is between 20 and 40 million gamebirds bred to be shot, which includes both pheasants and partridges. STILL FAR TOO MANY, but it is as well to use the best figures to make the case to end this needless sport.

    1. Sorry, but your figures are way off.

      Our figures come from a letter published in The Scotsman in June 2014, written by Professor Jeremy Wilson:

      “Inspection of the GWCT’s National Gamebag Census reveals that the UK leaves the rest of the world trailing in terms of the sheer scale of release of non-native gamebirds. By 2011, releases topped 50 million annually (42 million pheasants and almost 9 million red-legged partridges)”.

      These figures are more than likely to be out of date by now, too. They are from 2011 – we’re just about to enter 2018 and we know that the shooting industry has been releasing more and more and more birds every year as the demand for big bag sizes increases.

      1. Whatever happens to them the numbers released are an obscenity and must we swamping our natural ecology where large numbers are released given as biomass they probably exceed all other land birds added together, yet there is no control of numbers released or any serious studies to determine the effect on the ecology. We rightly condemn the fly tipping of these unwanted and unloved targets No respect for the quarry by the killers) but what we should really be insisting upon is some sort of imposed standards concerning release densities AND a study of how such releases effect local ecology overall. When we know answers to those questions how can allow large scale release to continue?

      1. Seeing those photographs took me back to the days when I was a silly laddie and mad keen on shooting , around the gamekeepers house there was always piles of decaying pheasants and parts of roe deer.The release pens always had a fine collection of dead poults lying in piles .( they had died of disease due to overcrowding and wet weather) The cage traps had their collection of sparrowhawks, crows, buzzards and Jays. We often came across heaps of decaying carcasses in remote spots when we were beating . Unbelievably at the time I didn’t think anything off it , just the way of the countryside .I am sure this is just the tip of a very smelly iceberg that has been going on for years.

  10. “Yes it’s pressure but let’s just take stock of the U.K. country sports situation compared to some European countries. We have a lot of positives. We can control vermin and predation generally without any licensing. We can release, feed and shoot game in a fairly liberal fashion. Individuals aren’t licensed to carry out the aforementioned activities. These are freedoms that some Europeans don’t have. We can use lead shot and shoot some quarry species day or night. We can set traps, snares and have a free market for the game industry.”

    The guy that wrote that is spot on….along with our anachronistic and hugely destructive land ownership patterns, which are the main reason for the above free for all over destruction of nature….we should be taking that list to every right thinking MP and MSP and asking why???…Long and loud….why have we allowed this to continue and what are you going to do about it?

  11. There is something unusual about these carcases. There are lots of blue ties of some description which are coming up away from the carcases. I don’t know if it is string or plastic ties but they appear in both the batch of very rotten birds and fresher birds. It certainly suggests it’s from the same source and the same person dumping them. It’s an unusual colour of tie. I don’t know if the birds have been strung up by the legs or necks or something like that at some time. I wonder how easy it might be to trace those ties. What is the practice the local shoot adopts when they’ve shot birds? Do they bundle them up in this way?

    As I said in the last post, there maybe other clues in the bags (receipts, invoices, hand written notes left by accident) or full or partial footprints from repeated visits, vehicle tracks etc etc. See my comments in the other post on this finding re timings of dumps etc.

    The birds in the first post were in plastic bags which appear to be for bird feed. Perhaps the local shoot uses that feed or, if they deny it, perhaps the suppliers might be able to confirm one way or another. Maybe the feed is an unusual type, narrowing the client list in the area.

    I can’t tell if there are any Scheduled or non-game birds in the pile. I don’t think so but sometimes it’s difficult to identify things when they’re rotting down and there aren’t many photos. That might push this offence even further up the agenda.

  12. I have found them breasted, it is a great pity woodcock are shot and then dumped. Pheasant is very good meat and it is a shame not to use it; however at least the fox’s get a feed.

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