Dead pheasants dumped in Lincolnshire, presumed shot

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 herehereherehereherehereherehere, 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.

18 thoughts on “Dead pheasants dumped in Lincolnshire, presumed shot”

  1. BBC SE Inside Out programme on Monday this week showed an item on using pheasants to boost the diets of people attending food banks. Apparently supplied and prepared free of charge it appeared as a Public Relations exercise on behalf of the gameshooting industry. No attempt by the interviewer to ask about the provenance of the birds or warn of the toxic dangers of lead shot to children and pregnant women.

  2. Of course this is serious – and in the past here in Orkney we have had shot Greylags dumped on the shore with just the breasts cut off for their meat. It does seem to have stopped now. However, I’m more than slightly pleased that these pheasants were found by Mr. Fox!

  3. I may be wrong but these birds don’t even look to have been “breasted” as some previous dumped birds have been? If so a complete waste!!

  4. 50 million released in the UK every year. I can’t get over that number, it’s incedible. It’s difficult for our tiny minds to imagine what 50 million is.

    I’ve just done some sums. Imagine a line of pheasants on the gound. Imagine one pheasant placed every twelve inches … starting at John ‘O Groats and heading south. Where do you think the line would stop? Edinburgh? Leeds? Lincoln?


    Paris is about 900 miles from John ‘O Groats. That’s about five million pheasants. You’ve got to go ten times that distance.

    Cape Town on the southern tip of Africa is still a million peasants short.

    1. The release of this quantity of “poultry” is equivalent to the rest of the avian biomass in the UK, I understand. Huge effect on food availability for our indigenous birds in the “hungry period”!

  5. More waste of public money by criminals. I’m sure it has got to be the easiest thing in the world to know

    where these birds came from because of shooting dates .
    Even DNA testing is so easy the birds could be traced back to the relevant estate and proceedings taken against the owner.

  6. Yes 50 million birds released into the country
    Side each year, a fantastic amount,imagine how much wild food they eat,depriving British
    Wildlife of winter food,and do you know how
    Many go to game dealers 3 million,that leaves
    An awful lot of birds to run over and dumped in

  7. It all just proves that the killing is for killing’s sake. Such fun for the trigger happy:-(

    What a sick industry!


  8. I was in a Booths store last week in Carnforth. I saw the wife of a local shoot landowner bending down to anxiously scan the remaindered pheasant packs from Furness Fish Poultry & Game of Flookburgh.

    Nobody seems to want to buy it. Perhaps customers have heard about the lead shot and lead fragment contamination?

    1. On that subject, does anyone know if online butchers and game merchants, Macbeth’s source their pheasant and grouse from leadfree shoots?

  9. Have we any idea of accuracy of ’50 million non-wild birds’ released into the ‘wild’ every year in UK?
    The number must be very big, but this seems utterly astonishing. I know round here the poor things can be a serious menace on my cycle rides, (careful downhill!) and the number of road kill must feed large numbers of corvids (and buzzards), but the sheer waste of grain in the first instance and then the drain on carrying capacity for wild birds, especially perhaps ground-nesting types, could be very large.
    Does the RSPB have numbers? Does Packham have a number?

    1. Hi Phil,

      This figure came from the game-shooitng industry for the 2012/2013 shooting season. It is based on the voluntary bag returns of some but not all shooting estates. The figure was published by GWCT but, very interestingly, there has been no further update of this figure since 2012/2013 – or if there has we’re unaware of it.

      We can only speculate about why the shooting industry has chosen not to update this estimate for 4-5 yrs.

      There is no formal count because there’s no statutory requirement for any shoot to submit annual bag figures.

      1. Thanks RPUK.
        A relative in Wales yesterday told me of 50 – 100 dead pheasants dumped last summer near their rural house in West Wales – this is extra, and distant, to any site you have logged in Wales so far. Obviously a very widespread practice.
        I had forwarded them your email.

  10. As with disappearing raptors with sat tags being the tip of the iceberg of the total which are killed, so these discards will be the tip of the iceberg of those being wasted and presumably the shooting interests will now instruct shoots to be a lot more careful where they dump them so that the reality becomes less obvious.

  11. It might be worth pushing for a system of recording & hygenic disposal of uneaten corpses & those just ”breasted”. Apart from cost, it’s hard to see an argument against this position & it would hit them in the wallet. The only place that hurts soulless B’staards like this

  12. I was told some time ago but within this shooting season that the two biggest local commercial shoots to here both bury most of their bags after the guns have taken a couple of brace each and left to go home. However I have been unable to confirm this, otherwise I would be naming and shaming here and in a “letter” to the local press. Despite it almost being the end of the season there are still hundreds of long tailed poultry around.

  13. The law in this is suitably obtuse – if they are processed for meat (e.g. removal of the breast) then the rest of the carcass becomes an animal by-product and must be disposed of by an approved incinerator or by an authorised waste processor (e.g. renderer). If they are not processed, then they can be buired in a pit.

    But never dumped

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