Plight of birds shot for sport
In just a few days time, the four-month pheasant shooti ng season starts, during which time millions of purpose-bred birds will be shot for sport.
Increasing numbers of breedingbirdsareconfinedin metal cages with mesh floors that become i ncreasingly 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 attackeachother, 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 escapethecage, and, in doingso, smashtheirheadsontheroof.
Theresultingheadinjuries 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 filmundercoveratsuchestablishments, the plight of these birds would never be made public. Readers can witness first handwhatthebirds have to endure by visiting Animal Aid’s websitewww.animalaid. org.uk. Fiona Pereira Animal Aid Tonbridge