Footage of hundreds of pheasant carcasses being illegally dumped in a pit at a Leicestershire shoot has been released by animal welfare activists. 

The video was allegedly taken in November 2018 at Cotesbach Game farm in Leicestershire.

Although it was found that the birds had been breasted, shooting organisations have united to condemn the activity shown.

Liam Bell, Chairman of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation said, “The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation is deeply dismayed by this recent video, apparently showing the illegal disposal of pheasant carcasses. We absolutely condemn this appalling incident, especially as game represents a healthy and nutritious food source. The perpetrators of this abomination should face the full force of the law. Responsible shooting estates work hard to ensure that they have developed sustainable markets for their shot game, whilst following best practice guidelines for the processing and selling of their game meat. ”

Shooting Times is covering the story in full next week (23 January) and editor Patrick Galbraith was asked to speak on the matter on Talk Radio when the story broke.

 

Game sales soaring

The irony is that the popularity of game is soaring, with sales of pigeon, pheasant, partridge and venison in supermarkets booming. A spokesman for Marks & Spencer told Shooting Times (16 January 2019): “We have had our biggest-ever season on game, with sales up 20 per cent on last year.”

Tim Woodward of the Country Food Trust added: “The Country Food Trust is currently looking for processed meat but processing capacity is maxed out. There are not enough game dealers to handle the birds.”

Incorrect disposal

Tom Adams of The British Game Alliance commented: “We condemn the actions shown in this video in the strongest terms. The British Game Alliance exists to stamp out bad practice. It seems these carcasses may be from birds that have already been processed for meat, but that does not excuse the inappropriate disposal of the remains. The incorrect disposal of animal by-products is illegal and we ask that information relating to any such activity be reported to the proper authorities.

“The British Game Alliance has been created to introduce independent and effective regulation to shooting, so that people who want to buy and enjoy game meat can be assured that the game they are eating has come from shoots and processors who only adhere to best practice.” –

Steve Bloomfield, BASC’s executive director of operations, said: “It is unacceptable for birds to be disposed of in this manner. BASC has referred the footage to the local authority so that they can investigate the circumstances and take legal action if required.”