Pheasants shot & dumped near Duns, Scottish Borders

Here we go again.

Just last week we saw the British Association of Shooting & Conservation (BASC) claim that “the values and standards of the UK shooting community…is driven by strong ethics and respect for quarry“.

The evidence continues to suggest otherwise.

These pictures, sent to us by a blog reader, show approx 30 shot pheasants that had been dumped over a bridge (the Mouth Bridge) on the outskirts of Duns in the Scottish Borders. The photographs were taken yesterday afternoon (Monday 26 Nov 2018).

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“) and at a cost to us taxpayers to have the council clean up, this dumping of gamebirds is becoming quite common, even in some of our National Parks e.g. see previous blogs herehereherehereherehere, here).

It’s worth bearing in mind that an estimated 50 million non-native gamebirds (pheasants & red-legged partridge) are released in to our countryside EVERY YEAR, to provide live targets for people with guns. This is barely regulated – they can release as many of these alien species as they like and kill as many of them as they like, as long as they’re killed within the shooting season.

Think of all the native wildlife that has been killed by the gamekeeper in order to protect the ‘livestock’ (pheasants), to ensure there are as many available to be shot as possible when the shooting season opens. And for what? Just so the guns can have a bit of fun and the dead pheasants can be dumped?

Does this look like standards of ‘strong ethics and respect for quarry’ to you? How many raptors have been illegally killed to facilitate this pointless, pitiful carnage?

21 thoughts on “Pheasants shot & dumped near Duns, Scottish Borders”

  1. Words fail me, these people are pathetic, wildlife the world over is suffering due to acts of barbarism, these poor birds are bred, for what? sad sorry people in tweed suits. All of you that play with guns, “Get a life” and leave nature alone, birds and animals were here before us, you will all wake up one day and realise the human race need these creatures for our sad sorry existence on this planet, the majority will never learn until its to late.

  2. Dumping animal by products over a bridge and next to a water course…….!

    Would a local butcher ever do this….definitely not because of the professional standards associated with the industry.

    This highlights the complete lack of industry standards within game bird shooting industry.

    Some may say it’s a single isolated incident….we know this is not the case.

    I suggest whenever similar incidents are found send details to RPUK.

    And they have the cheek to call townies ignorant.

    1. By all means send details to RPUK, I’m sure that would help.

      I’d also recommend strongly reporting any on the zero waste Scotland website Dumb Dumpers at This is the official repository for fly-tipping incidents and is of interest both to local authorities, who sad to say, often need to tidy up (at taxpayers expense), but also SEPA would I think be very interested, especially in this case near a watercourse.

      It would I think be very helpful to get this agency (SEPA) up to speed and onside with issues which we in our ‘echo-chamber’ are very familiar but perhaps are not so well known elsewhere.

    2. A lot of people who shoot are townies and have no idea about the countryside. Forget townies and country people as a way of dividing the twats and the good people, they are not divided by geography, just by ethics.

  3. Mindless – not exactly hunting fo the pot ! I watched my beautiful male pheasant in the garden yesterday cautiously approaching where my husband was raking 🍁 leaves and it was a reason to be here is the robin practically sitting on the rake ‘helping ! Smallest things that connect me with the larger in and make me happy.. but killing makes them – happy? And is it just these birds or is a pet fair game ..I think it’s a n all round violent person who shoots and kills for pleasure !

  4. Possibly these birds were the “bag share out” that had been given to one of the guns who just goes along to shoots for the killing (no surprise there).

    Plenty publicity is best course of action.

  5. Nothing surprises me any more and I’m increasingly dismayed when I read how our beautiful native wildlife is being killed in the name of sport! The fact that people are prepared to dump dead pheasants is a clear demonstration that many of these so-called sportsmen just don’t care! Other wildlife-lovers might find the weblink below of interest, particularly as it openly admits that of an estimated 35 million pheasants released each year the total pheasant bag stands at around 15 million birds. So what happens to the other 20 million? This information is provided by a charity that consistently steps in to criticise genuine wildlife-loving organisations such as the RSPB.

    1. There is a shoot close to my location. There is a small population of pheasants that breed naturally. 3000 poults are brought in every July/August. The poults are kept in pens until able to be released. Many just fly out of the shooting estate and there are lots of road kills. The actual number shot each season is approximately 1200.
      A thoroughly disgraceful situation.
      There is another aspect. About 3 or 4 shots are fired per bird (mostly misses). What is the poisoning effect of all that lead ?

  6. When O when will people stop calling this a “sport” it is an insult to all the genuine professional and armature sportsmen who spend hours training to be the best they can be at their chosen endeavour
    When O when will the politicians / law makers / general public wake up and smell the blood.

  7. Hi, I have read the above with interest and sadness. We have a lot of commercialised shooting of ducks, partridge and pheasants going on here in Eskdalemuir, and as well as competing with native wildlife, pheasants also destroy people’s gardens to the point where some have had to give up growing their own food. We have a petition asking the government to honour its original intention to ban high-powered rifles. Hoping that it will lead to more control of these shooters and curb the growth of a gun culture. Hope you don’t mind me posting the link here, if not please sign and share. Thanks.

  8. I was told recently – on good authority – that a game merchant in the north of England now requires payment to take pheasant corpses. That is to say they are worth less than nothing, a bit like a clapped out old car that you need to pay to have taken away. Unfortunately that tends to confirm that the dumping problem will get worse and worse.

    1. Yep, that’s become common practice, Alan, hence reports of shoots digging mass burial graves rather than have to pay to have the corpses removed.

      Things will definitely get worse if/when the EU decides to ban lead shot altogether (currently under consideration). The game shooting industry reports that approx 70% of shot game in the UK is exported to Europe. If the ban is implemented, the EU won’t be accepting any more lead-shot game from the UK.

      The game-shooting industry is in deep trouble, and desperately looking for a way out hence the recent launch of the British Game Alliance to try and promote game shoots as sustainable and independently accredited and to promote game meat as a ‘healthy’ option to UK consumers. Sadly for them, increasing numbers of UK consumers are currently reducing their intake of meat……..

  9. It is a bit like someone going to their supermarket, buying a lot of food then dumping it, totally senseless, pheasants are very good to eat, the other day I had a lot given, they are now frozen ready for some great meals,.
    I believe it is costing the larger shoots 25p per bird for the game dealer to accept them, and they have to be taken there by the shoot, the shooting of them has never been so popular, theres so many reared now theres a glut of birds, . I f lead shot is ever banned then the alternative steel and bismuth shot cartridges are about 3 time the price of lead shot cartridges.

    1. From a shooting website (recent): Currently, steel loads cost slightly more than lead, although the rising price of raw materials means lead shot prices are closing the gap.

  10. These people are sick, they can walk about in their fancy tweeds , drive their posh range rovers and sip champagne on the hill but they will always be scum.
    They don’t give a shit about the game birds or wildlife they only care about themselves . Someone should throw them over the bridge and do everyone a favour

  11. Sorry to sound like a broken record, but the comparison to wasting chicken is very apt. These birds were almost certainly artificially reared and given supplementary feed in the ‘wild’, that means all these dumped birds represent land that contributed to wildlife loss through being intensively farmed rather than natural habitat – and then they were dumped. If mass gamebirds shooting begins with artificially raised chicks then it’s environmental and ecological assessment needs to start their too and thereby wouldn’t any claims it’s good for conservation be ended right there and then? Any ‘con’servation work that depends upon significant levels of intensive agriculture is an insult to our intelligence.

  12. Although I do not condone the dumping of these bird carcasses at least two, and I would suspect all, have had the breast meat removed.

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