Video footage shows dozens of dead gamebirds being thrown into a pit to rot

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:

ENDS

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)

23 thoughts on “Video footage shows dozens of dead gamebirds being thrown into a pit to rot”

  1. Looks like more than game birds. What is at around 35 / 36 seconds – it looks too big for pheasant, large wings? Seems to be fox and hare as well? These people are disgusting – not even eating what they shoot.

    1. A lot of white on some ‘birds’ – too much for pheasants? And long tails on some apparently heavier bodies. Hope protected Pine martens are not being killed here. Perhaps ask VWT to comment?

  2. I hope the Welsh unlike the English government will take these dirty disgusting polluting people to court for this extremely bad behaviour polluting the area the cruelty involved in this business is bad enough but this really shows what a complete waste of space these people really are thick as treacle too dont they realise everyone is carrying a camera these days or are they so cock sure they can get away with these things having local law and bigwigs on the shoot that they dont care whos watching. Filthy disgusting jerks.

    1. You obviously don’t live in North Wales or you would know that people in general do not care about the loss of life of wild birds ~ the only reason they MAY do anything is because of the pollution factor.

  3. This is the “estate” where I had two of my van tyres slashed just over a year ago.

    it is brilliant work by LACS; the only error is that it is a mine shaft, not a natural feature.

  4. Damage to flora and fauna
    / biodiversity caused by releasing millions of gamebirds into the environment (and without ecological impact assessments)
    Factory farmed game birds – risk of zoonosis and risk of avian-avian disease introduced into the environment.
    Environment polluted with lead shot from shoots and dumped dead contaminated game birds.
    Environment polluted by poisons.
    Unnecessary suffering of game birds for ‘sport’.
    Wildlife persecution and Wildlife crime – unnecessary suffering and killing of wildlife including protected species.
    Muir burn- damage to environment.
    Hill tracks- damage to environment.
    Poor/tied employment.
    Feudal system on estates.
    Shooting red listed species in UK (Woodcock) for ‘sport’
    🤔How on Earth are these businesses still allowed to continue?? Why would any civilised legal system permit selling cruelty and killing for ‘sport’ ?
    Is there any data on symptoms of lead poisoning observed in people ( children and adults) or lab confirmed cases over the ‘normal’ parameter level, for people who consume gamebirds. There is data evidence that the meat of gamebirds (shot with lead) is contaminated with lead (unsurprisingly).
    Lead contamination in gamebirds not controlled by the FSA compared with the levels for other foods ??
    The whole industry is illogical, irresponsible, environmentally damaging, presents an increased risk of disease, is economically unsound, is incredibly cruel and incredibly wasteful (taxpayers money/subsidies etc, unsustainable landuse, game birds reared shot then dumped). Links to wildlife crime and crime.

  5. I am sure this is completely illegal- so yet another example of blatant criminal behaviour associated with the game shooting industry.
    What else has been disposed off in this mine shaft?

    I totally agree with your comments regarding game shooting industry.

    What we have to realise is that the game shooting industry is made up of people, and it is some of these people who are out of control, and engaging in criminal behaviour.
    The person on that quad bike tossing the carcasses into the shaft is a criminal- he or she is no better than any other criminal- a scourge on our society; and it is time the shooting industry realised this.

    Serious questions need to be asked regarding the suitability of those who engage in this sort of criminal behaviour to hold firearms licences. I am sure the vast majority of the public would be outraged if a drug dealer or burglar was allowed to hold a firearms licence.

    What I don’t understand is why the umbrella organisations and those who shoot responsibly aren’t calling out and dealing with the criminal element who are so blatantly operating within their midst.
    I can only conclude that this failure to tackle this criminal element means that the rest of those who participate in shooting can only condone such behaviour; and in my mind that makes them equally as bad as those who engage in the actual criminal behaviour.

    If ever there was an industry which needed stringent regulation and oversight from the authorities – the shooting industry is it.
    Game shooting is no longer merely a pastime or a country pursuit – it is frequently a business run like any other industry, and as such it needs legally binding regulations and proper enforcement.

    Surely any law abiding shooter watching the video must feel total disgust and outrage that an activity which they participate in has been so degraded by the behaviour of some of those within the industry, and that the only way to rid game shooting of this type of behaviour is by proper regulation and enforcement?

  6. There could be hundreds of protected species at the bottom of that shaft. Would it be possible for some cavers, with police enforcement, to access the site?

    1. Mineshafts tend to be dangerous places: flooded, no plans available, timber supports and floors rotting, rusting machinery, cables, supports, the rock walls weakened by water flow & acid drainage, toxic metals: the perfect place to bury a body.

      And now rotting corpes plus whatever else might have been dumped there.

  7. The perpetrator ought to be sent down there on a rope to fish them all out again! It certainly warrants a full investigation into the potential pollution aspect.

  8. He should be able to be identified fairly easily by the law, dumping into there is illegal, what an ignorant person he is, I hope this case is followed up

    1. Serious professional bodies should have rules along the lines of ‘not bringing the trade / profession into disrepute’. Mine certainly does. Will you report this to the Gamekeepers’ Association and BASC? Perhaps they have such rules.

  9. The British Game Assurance organisation has posted a statement on the correct disposal procedures for game. The ‘clarification’ doesn’t appear to include flinging the corpses down caverns!

    https://www.britishgameassurance.co.uk/clarifying-the-correct-game-disposal/

    The British Game Assurance scheme sets out legal and recommended standards on a whole range of issues.

    The link for grouse shoots doesn’t seem to work but the link for “shoot”(s) details the approval procedures for participants in Section 2.00 – How to join the BGA Scheme.

    Click to access Shoot-Standards-V1-June-2021.docx.pdf

    “Approved Participants ● Ongoing approval of existing participants will be subject to ongoing compliance with scheme standards and payment of scheme fees to the BGA.”

    Unfortunately, I can’t find a link for the list of approved members.

    1. Thanks, Lizzybizzy.

      You won’t find a list of BGA Approved members because the BGA removed that list, coincidentally around the same time that I started to point out that some ‘approved members’ were either under police investigation for alleged wildlife crime or indeed had been convicted! Funny that.

      See:
      https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2018/07/12/accuracy-transparency-proving-difficult-for-game-shooting-industrys-british-game-alliance/

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