Another week and another photograph of a pile of dumped pheasants, this time in Lincolnshire and less than two weeks after video footage of a JCB dumping hundreds of shot pheasants in to hole in Leicestershire caused national outrage after being published by The Times.
The latest photograph was taken by dog walker Alan Fox who found two piles of pheasants dumped by the A16, between Brigsley and Waithe, Lincolnshire:
Mr Fox told Lincolnshire Live that he’d found the birds at around 12.30pm on Monday 29 January and said he believed there were between 50-100 pheasants, all piled on top of each other.
He said: “The dog smelled something and I saw some pheasants on the floor, then another group about 10 metres further down. I would think that someone has had a shoot somewhere and these birds are surplus to what they can sell or eat“.
Regular blog readers will know that shooting and then dumping gamebirds is being reported quite often – e.g. see here, 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.
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 chucked under a hedge by a roadside?
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“.
Yep, it really looks that way.