Following on from the disturbing footage released yesterday by the League Against Cruel Sports, showing an individual tossing dead gamebirds into an unused mineshaft in Powys, Wales (see here), an extraordinary admission has been made by the local shooting estate.
[Photo from a video clip from the League Against Cruel Sports, published yesterday, here]
Published in an article by ITV News (here), a spokesperson for Dyfi Falls shooting estate is quoted as follows:
“All game shot on the shooting estates run by Cambrian Birds Limited is processed through a certified game dealer which then goes on for human consumption.
Cambrian Birds allow their keepers to retain a certain number of birds for their personal consumption.
We understand that in this instance the individual in question stripped the meat off the birds and thereafter disposed of the carcasses by throwing them into a disused mineshaft.
Such a practice is contrary to the company rules and procedures. The individual in question was severely reprimanded and no longer works for the company“.
Severely reprimanded?? Why the hell wasn’t he sacked and reported to the authorities?
I’ve been looking for statements of unequivocal condemnation about this latest pheasant-dumping debacle from the major shooting organisations but at the time of writing I haven’t seen anything on the websites of BASC, National Gamekeepers Association, Countryside Alliance or the GWCT.
BASC is cited in the ITV news article but simply says it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation and gave some general advice about the disposal of shot gamebirds. Why BASC can’t make a statement of unequivocal condemnation about those pheasants being flung down the mineshaft, I don’t know. The estate has already admitted that a gamekeeper from Cambrian Birds Limited was responsible so there is no danger of libelling the shoot or prejudicing a potential prosecution.
Countryside Alliance Wales was also cited in the ITV news article but again failed to offer anything more robust than a sentence of advice about how gamebirds should be disposed.
What a pathetic response from the shooting industry. It was suggested to me on Twitter by a former policy director at the CLA (Country Land & Business Association) that even if the shooting organisations did condemn it, the shooters/gamekeepers won’t necessarily listen. That’s an damning admission that these organisations can’t influence enough of their members to stop this appalling behaviour, in which case, as self-regulation is impossible then statutory regulation of the game-shooting industry should be imposed without delay.
In an article on today’s BBC website (here), a spokesperson from Natural Resources Wales said its investigation was ongoing.
UPDATE 1st February 2022: Game-shooting industry scrupulously ignoring the mass dumping of shot pheasants (here)
UPDATE 2nd February 2022: Awkward….(here)