The plight of ‘game birds’

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In just a few days time, the four-month pheasant shooting season starts, during which time millions of purpose-bred birds will be shot for sport.

Increasing numbers of breeding birds are confined in metal cages with mesh floors that become increasingly painful as the season goes on.

These cages confine one male and eight to ten females together.

The stress of confinement means that the birds are liable to attack each other, so the industry’s ‘solution’ is to put ‘bits’ on the birds’ beaks to restrict their movement.

Stress-induced feather loss is common and any noise causes the birds to fly rapidly upwards in an effort to escape the cage, and, in doing so, smash their heads on the roof.

The resulting head injuries are referred to as ‘scalping’.

This industry operates away from public view.

The cages are not inspected by government officials unless a complaint is made.

This means that if organisations like Animal Aid did not film undercover at such establishments, the plight of these birds would never be made public.

Readers can witness first hand what the birds have to endure by visiting Animal Aid’s website www.animalaid.org.uk.

Fiona Pereira

Animal Aid

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