Gamebirds victory (3) – another aspect of illegality

Seven week old pheasant chicks, often known as poults, after just being released into a gamekeepers release pen on an English shooting estate

May I refer you to document EB2, page 116, section 4.2 of those released by DEFRA on Friday as part of their caving in to the Wild Justice legal challenge?

Here it is:

It’s only really the first sentence you need bother to read although the whole of sections 2 and 3 are worth looking at.

The gamebird industry not sticking to the law? Gasp! Who’d have guessed? Lead ammunition use? Bird of prey persecution? Burning protected habitats in the uplands? Construction of tracks on protected areas?

All poultry farmers must be thrilled to hear that shooters are breaking the law by not reporting the locations of their captive birds, nor their numbers, at all accurately. This is a serious animal health/disease issue. But shooting acts as though it is above the law and government has let them get away with it for far too long.

Wild Justice’s legal victory has brought in some form of regulation of activities and further opened a can of worms. It will take the shooting industry quite some time to get its house in order, and prove it, and DEFRA must ensure that these data are fully up to date and accurate before they should allow releases to go ahead in anything like a normal way. This issue applies, of course, to gamebird rearing everywhere, not just in the vicinity of important wildlife sites.


5 Replies to “Gamebirds victory (3) – another aspect of illegality”

  1. One is hardly surprised by this but government through DEFRA and APHA are at fault. Although the real problem is of course the shooting “Industry” itself with its long held ideas that it is above law, scrutiny or regulation. Any rearing premises/releases that remain unregistered should be immediately closed down and fined heavily in the future. This will of course require an inspection element of oversight by APHA, something which up to now appears to have slipped through the consciousness of all involved.

  2. Just out of interest, do you know what penalties are in place for non compliance with the law of this land for not accurately reporting the locations of captive birds and/or their numbers?

  3. Personally I’ve always thought that it should be a legal requirement to ring all released Pheasants and to log this. However, I do realise this is far too sensible and obvious to be considered. It would then allow the dispersal of Pheasants from release sites to be know, which of course is why the shooting lobby and their mates in government would never allow it.

    1. It might open flood gates to insurance claims by motorists against shooting estates whose vehicles hit & damaged by owned/released gamebirds?

  4. Quite apposite as a case of H5N2 has been confirmed today at a “small commercial premises” at Deal in Kent.

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