Quelle surprise! It’s another year and another opportunity for a load of dead pheasants to be dumped.
Here are two more cases reported on social media in recent days, one load dumped in North Yorkshire and another in West Yorkshire, to add to previous reports of shot dumped birds in Cheshire, Scottish borders (here), Norfolk (here), Perthshire (here), Berkshire (here), North York Moors National Park (here) and some more in North Yorkshire (here), Co. Derry (here), West Yorkshire (here), N Wales (here), mid-Wales (here), Leicestershire (here) and Lincolnshire (here).
The latest gruesome discovery in North Yorkshire included a potato sack full of dead pheasants dumped by the side of the road in York:
The pheasant dumping incident in West Yorkshire was reported on twitter by West Yorkshire Police but no photos available:
Gamebird dumping continues to be a widespread problem. That’s hardly a surprise when the game shooting industry is permitted to release as many non-native pheasants and red-legged partidge as it likes (conservatively estimated to be almost 60 million EVERY YEAR), with minimal regulation, and no requirement to report on what happens to those birds once they’ve been shot for a bit of a laugh.
And let’s not forget this is the same game shooting industry that is responsible for the vast majority of illegal raptor persecution, done, it says, to protect gamebirds. That’ll be the gamebirds that are shot and then dumped, with no respect for the quarry and no respect for the local residents who’ll have to foot the bill to have the carcasses removed.
In a letter to the Daily Telegraph in November 2005 headed ‘Game birds for eating not dumping’, Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance said this:
“Every bird shot in Britain goes into the food chain, whether into participants’ freezers, or through game dealers into an increasing number of supermarkets, butchers, pubs and restaurants“.
That statement wasn’t true in 2005 and nor is it true 15 years later in 2020, despite the game shooting industry’s extensive (but flawed, e.g. see here) PR efforts to persuade the public that everything that’s killed is done ethically and sustainably.
Last year DEFRA admitted, after a legal challenge by Wild Justice, that gamebird releases need to be assessed properly for their potential ecological damage to protected nature conservation sites. As the clock counts down to more gamebird releases this year and with no indication that DEFRA will sort itself out in time, Wild Justice is preparing to re-visit the legal challenge.