Press release from the League Against Cruel Sports, 27th January 2022.
Damning video shows dozens of dead gamebirds being dumped by Welsh shoot
Damning video evidence has been obtained showing dozens of dead ‘game’ birds being dumped into a natural cavern on the Dyfi Falls shooting estate in mid-Wales.
The footage was captured at the Welsh beauty spot in Powys by professional investigators from leading animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports, which campaigns to end commercial game shooting.
The shocking incident has been reported to Natural Resources Wales and police amid strong concerns that the dead pheasants and partridges will contaminate water flowing into the nearby River Llyfnant, and potentially pose a risk to human life.
Chris Luffingham, director of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “The film shows bird after bird being casually tossed into the cavern, next to one of Wales’ most sensitive and protected pieces of land because of its range, quality and variety of habitats, species and geological features. This scandalous incident shows a blatant disregard by the shooting industry for this environment.
“More than 61 million non-native pheasants and partridges are released into the British countryside every year only for them to be cruelly blasted out of the sky. That these birds are just being dumped shows there is no other reason for them to be shot other than for so-called ‘sport’.”
The two-minute video taken on a trail camera set up by the natural cavern shows what is believed to be a shoot employee dump at least 45 dead pheasants and partridges into the cavern, with more loaded up on his quadbike ready for disposal.
Chris added: “This isn’t a one-off. Earlier this year our investigators watched as a man threw dead birds into the cavern – the Dyfi Falls Shoot, run by Cambrian Birds, will have serious questions to answer about the potential pollution to this important site, not to mention the high levels of cruelty involved in the wholesale killing of these birds.”
The cavern is located next to the Pencreigiau’r Llan Site of Special Scientific Interest, and the Nant Y Gog stream which flows into the river Llyfnant.
The Dyfi Falls shooting estate is managed by Cambrian Birds in the Cwm Rhaeadr, which translates as Valley of the Waterfall. It only opened in October 2020 and has already been at the centre of local controversy because of the impact on the environment due to the high density of pheasants and partridges released onto the site and the ugly tracks gouged by the shoot across the valley.
The League Against Cruel Sports is campaigning in Wales for a ban on the manufacture, sale, possession and use of snares – brutal wire traps used by gamekeepers – and for a ban on the caged breeding of game birds.
Chris added: “We’ve seen in recent years reports of game birds being dumped, burnt or buried but never before have we seen a shoot show such a callous indifference to the environment.
“We look forward to working closely with the Welsh Government to help eliminate the animal cruelty and poor environmental practices which are endemic to the shooting industry.”
You can view the disturbing video here:
As the press release says, this isn’t a one-off incident. Shot pheasants and partridges are routinely dumped (fly-tipped, essentially, leaving local communities to pick up the council bill for clearing them away). Examples in recent years have included dumped gamebirds in Cheshire, Scottish borders (here), Norfolk (here), Perthshire (here), Berkshire (here), North York Moors National Park (here) and some more in North York Moors National Park (here) and even more in North Yorkshire (here), Co. Derry (here), West Yorkshire (here), and again in West Yorkshire (here), N Wales (here), mid-Wales (here), Leicestershire (here), Lincolnshire (here), Somerset (here), Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park (here), Suffolk (here), Leicestershire again (here), Liverpool (here) and even more in North Wales (here).
It’s quite incredible that this is the same industry that routinely asks for licences to kill birds of prey because of the perceived threat to these gamebirds before they’re shot for a bit of a laugh and then dumped.
The gamebird shooting industry is barely regulated, unscrutinised by the authorities, incapable of policing itself and as such is out of control.
Well done to the investigators at the League Against Cruel Sports for securing this footage and reporting it to the authorities. I look forward to seeing unequivocal condemnation from the game-shooting organisations, and an investigation and subsequent blacklisting of whichever shoot is involved.
UPDATE 28th January 2022: Shooting estate admits gamekeeper responsible for mass dumping of shot pheasants (here)
UPDATE 1st February 2022: Game-shooting industry scrupulously ignoring the mass dumping of shot pheasants (here)
UPDATE 2nd February 2022: Awkward…..(here)