Dire outlook for animals

THIS is Animal Aid's first National Anti-Shooting Week.

Every year in Britain about 40 million pheasants and partridges are factory-farmed so that they can be shot down by wealthy 'guns'. From birth they are kept in cages, sheds and pens in which disease and death are a daily feature. The bloody and brutal end to their lives is the final insult.

In an effort to eliminate the stress-related aggression between the birds they are fitted with an array of beak-clamps and blinkers.

Because of the enfeeblement that results from being intensively reared many birds die before they can be gunned down. They perish from exposure, starvation, disease or predation, or under the wheels of motor vehicles.

Many shot birds are not eaten. Even pro-shooting magazines have reported that some are buried in specially dug pits.

Killing for fun has no place in a civilised society, but our wretched government is fully in favour of it. Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe, Rural Affairs Minister Jonathan Shaw, Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker, and outrageously even Animal Welfare Minister Jeff Rooker have given their support. I think they were fooled by the countryside marches, which were mostly people who wanted to protect their schools, buses, post offices and local shops, and only a few percent fanatical hunters. And that`s a Party which in 1997 promised a New Life for Animals.

The outlook for animals is pretty dire in this animal-loving country.

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