Plight of birds shot for sport

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Your Views -

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

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