More shot pheasants dumped, West Yorkshire this time

Our marvellous ‘guardians of the countryside’ have been at it again, this time in West Yorkshire.

Thanks to the blog reader who sent in these photos of shot dumped pheasants and red-legged partridge, found by a dog walker in Micklefield, West Yorkshire at the weekend.

Even though this is against the Code of Good Shooting Practice (“shoot managers must ensure they have appropriate arrangements in place for the sale or consumption of the anticipated bag in advance of all shoot days“), this dumping of gamebirds is becoming quite common, even in some of our National Parks e.g. see hereherehereherehere, here).

We can expect to see a lot more of it in the future as the game shooting industry struggles to get shot birds in to the human food chain and yet still releases in to the countryside an estimated 50 million non-native gamebirds every year, just to be shot for fun. As the industry is largely unregulated, there is no sign of this number being reduced, either volunatarily or via legislation (see here).

Meanwhile a pile of dead ducks was recently discovered dumped on Anglesey, North Wales. A local councillor out cycling with his young children described it as “wildlife carnage“. North Wales Police Rural Taskforce is currently investigating this case.

14 thoughts on “More shot pheasants dumped, West Yorkshire this time”

  1. The season is over for pheasants and partridge…so they are now clearing their game dumps on their yards ready for the spring and the other more agricultural or forestry activities ..
    My neighbour shows his dead birds under his muck heap. The advantage of being a livestock farmer…my dog he shot will be under there as well.

  2. I’ve just sent this email to my Lancashire based MP, Damien Moore. He is a game bird shooter by his own admission and he supports the game shooting industry.

    I await his answer, which, no doubt will be meaningless, as usual. His previous answers have been placatory or simply, “it is lawful to shoot, I do it.”

    My email:


    This year, there have been lots of reports of the dumping of dead game birds. The industry is far from clean, fly tipping/dumping carcasses like this is a criminal act. Yet more proof of the irresponsible attitudes within this archaic industry. Archaic, because prehistoric man used driven game techniques to feed their family, why is this continuing in the 21st century?

    With a little research the “shoots” could be monitored, for production, killing and disposal. They claim farm subsidies, so must accept scrutiny. A simple bit of arithmetics would show discrepancies and raise questions of where did the waste meat go? The game shooting industry needs controlling or outlawing.

    It is clear that some shooting estates, illegally fly tip their surplus and do not comply with the Food Standards Agency, in doing so,

    If the birds are not to be eaten then stop the shooting! But of course the money the killers pay for this strange pleasure is more important to the vendors.

    The shooting industry needs reforming. In the 1920’s trap pigeon shoots were outlawed. How does that differ from driven bird shoots?

    The pheasants and partridge are reared in commercial farms, raised in pens near to the shooting areas, driven to their deaths by marauding crowds, killed and injured by bad shooting, then huge quantities are just dumped because the shooters don’t want them and they have little commercial value. “Like shooting fish in a barrel” springs to mind. I don’t object to the shooter taking birds for their consumption, but to shoot, just to kill something, is pampering to the psychotic killers and profiteering estates.

    The shooting industry continues to use toxic lead shot, destroys natural predators (some of which are protected by our laws, not that that deters the criminal element). The gamekeepers blatantly use illegal traps and banned poisons with impunity, this to me amounts to corruption within the rich and the justice community. Natural England supplies licences to kill predatory protected birds, with, what appears to be little scrutiny. In the case of pheasant and partridge, the birds are in pens until adult size, therefore predatory birds cannot take them. If the gamekeeper does not have mesh over the pens, then they must accept the minimal losses. There is no need to “control” buzzards and other raptors, if the gamekeeper keeps his bird safe. But of course the Victorian hatred of raptors prevails.

    You are part of this industry and its bad reputation, its criminality and bad ethics, will you strive to reform it?

    1. It would be enlightening to research how it is criminal…
      I had to bother the trading standards people re a stray dogs a t… it is an offence to encourage dogs t o stray… to get any action a few years ago…
      Perhaps in the wake of the bird flue outbreaks the law may have been amended and tightened up…
      I would appreciate some info as to what law …so I can follow up stuff I have come across.

      1. If you’re referring to this incident, it is illegal under S33 and S34 Environmental Protection Act 1990.

        Under S33(1)(a) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 it is an offence to deposit industrial or commercial waste or knowingly cause or knowingly permit such waste to be deposited in or on any land unless an environmental permit authorising the deposit is in force and the deposit is in accordance with the licence. S33(1)(c) also prohibits the treatment, keeping or disposal of industrial or commercial waste in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health. Obviously, shooting estates don’t bother obtaining licenses to dump unwanted birds in such a manner and the Environment Agency wouldn’t grant a license for fly tipping. The deliberate discarding and abandonment of the bodies of health wild animals and birds above ground without a license authorising such a procedure fullfills the terms of the offence of fly-tipping. In addition, the permanent dumping of the bodies of healthy wild animals and birds and the regular topping up of the piles of bodies in a way that allows potentially harmful liquids and air borne bacteria from putrifying carcases to escape into the surrounding environment breaches the terms of S33(1)(c) EPA. Effectively, s(a) applies to the manager/owner and s(c) applies to the fly tipper.

        Furthermore, S34(1) EPA imposes the duty on individuals who produce, carry, keep or dispose of commercial or industrial waste or who have to take reasonable measures (a) to prevent any contravention by any other person of section 33 (above) and (b) to prevent the escape of the waste from his control or that of any other person.

  3. The laws of this country, as is well proven here, often provide the unscrupulous with loopholes to avoid penalty. If you have enough money and friends in high places? You can be above the law.

    Fly tipping is undoubtably a criminal offence.

    The Food Standards Agency have many conditions for the protection of food stuffs in the public domain and can certainly take businesses to court and close their trading.

    Click to access wild-game-guide.pdf

    The Food Standards Agency have strict conditions for the disposal of food waste and it must have a paper chain through to the final authorised destruction (usually by incineration).

    The Animal By-Products Order 1999. Is the place study animal disposal.

    Click to access Carcass%20Disposal.pdf

    The solicitors writing this pdf, seem to be offering loopholes for the gamekeepers and estates:

    copied from the pdf
    The control of animal carcasses is
    now regulated by Animal By-Product (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013. These Regulations revoke
    and replace the Animal By-Products (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2011, consolidating amendments,
    and revoking the Animal By-Products (Identification) Regulations 1995 in respect of England. It covers all animals including poultry and an “animal by- product” includes virtually every part of
    an animal that is not meat for human consumption (which is subject to other strict controls).
    The basic rule is that animal by- products must be incinerated at properly authorised premises. There are, however, numerous exemptions. An obvious example is the fallen stock scheme, where staff at licensed hunt kennels may render dead farm animals and use the meat for feeding hounds, but not certain parts such as the spinal column and brain (to prevent BSE spread).
    Healthy wild animals are not included within the scope of the legislation. Their carcasses are exempt unless they are thought to be diseased or are used to produce game trophies, in which case there is a responsibility on the landowner to ensure they are disposed of in accord- ance with the regulations.
    Whether or not an animal is a wild animal is a question of fact. In most cases it will be obvious. For example, wild birds that have never been owned or controlled are wild animals. Pheasants bred for the food chain, albeit reared
    in the open and then shot on a game shoot, may be covered by the Animal By-Products Order and so cannot just be buried if not used for food. Defra and the EU have so far tended to view gamebirds that have been released into the wild as wild and thus outside the scope of the Order but the position is uncertain. Defra suggests:
    “Where there is doubt, some of the considerations to take into account in deciding whether or not something is a wild animal are:
     has the animal ever been fed by man?
     has it ever been managed by man, or received veterinary attention from man?
     has man ever established artificial boundaries that it cannot ordinarily pass?
    Even if “Yes” is the answer to all
    or some of these questions, it is still possible that the animal is, or may have subsequently become a wild animal. This will be a question of fact in each case.”

    Fly-tipping is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment if convicted in a Magistrates’ Court. The offence can attract an unlimited fine and up to 5 years imprisonment if convicted in a Crown Court.
    Fly-tipping – the illegal dumping of waste – Parliament

    1. What a great find! This is just brilliant! Thanks. Is the document Keeping the Balance the NGO’s magazine? Which group produces it?

      Basically the legal advice acknowledges that using wild animals in stink pits is likely to be illegal! ie under S33 and S34 EPA its an offence and therefore the use of imported chemical scents is recommended.

      The Animal By Product Regulations define a wild animal as “any animal not kept by humans” (Article 3(7)).

      The bodies of wild animals which have a disease which can spread to people or animals are covered by the ABPR and are classed as Category 1 high risk material (Article 8(a)(v)). Category 1 material must be disposed of by specified disposal methods (Article 12). The bodies of wild animals and birds suspected of being infected with a communicable disease, therefore, cannot, by law, be used as bait in a stink pit or dumped or buried on land.

      The bodies or body parts of healthy wild animals and birds, on the other hand, are not covered by the ABPR (Article 2(2)(a)) which means that the use and disposal of the bodies of healthy wild animals are not regulated by the strict rules governing the ABPR.

      The definition of a wild animal does not include “wild game” animals and birds hunted for human consumption such as deer, hare, rabbits, pheasants, grouse etc. Wild game are subject to the ABPR so the methods of their disposal are tightly regulated under the ABPR. The key words are ‘human consumption’ which is why the advice states that if the birds are simply shot ‘for sport’ rather than consumption, then they are wild animals and not wild game for human food. Grouse, under such a loose interpretation, could therefore be wild animals if shot for sport (and free of regulation under the ABPR) or wild game if shot for human consumption (and unregulated under the ABPR).

      The trouble is this pesky Environmental Protection Act! They can’t by-pass the Environmental Protection Act 1990! Even their advice acknowledges that just because the Environment Agency has never brought a prosecution under S33 that doesn’t mean they won’t!

      Perhaps it’s time to start to ask the Environment Agency to start doing what they were set up to do and stop illegal dumping of animals and birds in stink pits or on the land!

    2. Just to clarify, animal by-products not intended for human consumption are regulated in Scotland by The Animal By-Products (Enforcement) (Scotland) Regulations 2013.

  4. “Keeping the Balance” is interesting reading. I’ve only read 2 articles, Catch Up (the collection of breeding stock from the pheasants and partridge) and Modern Surveillance (demonstrating the gamekeepers and estate owners paranoia).

    In this short session of reading the “Illegal dumping issues” and the Keeping the Balance articles (I will read more to enable greater awareness of their weaknesses.

    The ‘catch up’ article is also of interest from the point of collecting wild birds. Along with the twisted way they get farm subsidies for claiming farm stock rearing, then wild birds legal to kill by shooting, then recapture to gain more subsidies. It sounds like the old farmer’s tricks of transporting animal stock to France then driving back and gaining yet more subsidy (this may be urban legend but it is in my mind from many years ago).

    Altogether, the game killing industry stinks worse than its stink pits. Where is that smell coming from, we all know.


  5. Just a note on those that shoot. Quote
    ‘A killer is a man who is controlled in exaggerated form by the lust to kill. This same lust, in a much lesser degree, finds expression in the normal man who shoots pigeons released from traps, and who kills animals and birds when not bound to do so for food. I should say that these killers are men who have never mentally matured.’

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