The bodies of approx 100 pheasants have been dumped next to the North Wales Coastal Path nr Mostyn, a popular walking and cycling spot.
It is believed they were dumped on the embankment, known locally as the ‘cob’, following a traditional Boxing Day shoot.
Resident Janice Scott said: “I came across the pile of pheasants on a walk, but in truth I smelt them before I saw them. I believe that they have been dumped following a traditional Boxing Day shoot, but there’s simply no excuse to just dump them like that. It really isn’t a nice thing to come across, in fact it’s horrendous.’’
Cllr Bob Hazlehurst said: “The cob has become a dumping ground, with people tipping all sorts down there, but nothing quite as strange as this. I’ve simply no idea where they’ve come from or who’s chosen to dump them there. I just hope they are removed as soon as possible.
We are trying to take steps to prevent the persistent fly tipping in the cob area. CCTV has been touted, but how effective that would be with the size of that area is questionable.’’
Steve Jones, chief officer Streetscene and Transportation said: “Flintshire County Council have been made aware of a number of dead pheasants deposited on the Coastal path near Mostyn and have arranged for Streetscene to collect and remove the birds.”
This practice of dumping shot game birds is becoming a common practice in the UK. We’ve previously blogged about it over the last couple of years (e.g. see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here), and undoubtedly it’s driven by an over supply of birds and little demand by consumers for purchasing game bird meat. The game shooting industry is well aware of the PR disaster this practice brings to its door but it seems unable to do anything about it.
This is hardly a surprise when you consider 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. The Code of Good Shooting Practice says “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“ but this, evidently, is not happening.
And of course sitting alongside these unregulated releases is legal and illegal predator control – the mass slaughter of native wildlife, including raptors, done to protect the gamekeepers’ ‘livestock’. And for what? Just so the shot game can be thrown down an embankment and left to rot?
Shooting industry representatives are doing their best to proclaim effective self-regulation and as recently as November 2018 BASC claimed that “the values and standards of the UK shooting community…is driven by strong ethics and respect for quarry“.
Images like this from Wales prove BASC’s claim to be just more hollow words.