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Government must not backtrack on gamebird welfare

27 May 2010

The government has been urged not to backtrack on commitments to improve the welfare of game birds bred for shooting.

Earlier this year, Ministers at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) approved a new 'Code of Conduct on the Welfare of Gamebirds reared for Sporting Purposes'. This followed extensive consultation which included the pro-shooting lobby and animal welfare organisations including the League Against Cruel Sports.

The League is concerned that the new Defra minister, James Paice MP, a known supporter of shooting and hunting, may reverse his predecessors decision. In a sudden move he has planned a meeting of the consultation group, to take place in early June.

A League spokesman said: "The Code of Conduct was a huge step forward. It banned the use of raised cages, which we welcomed and which the British Association for Shooting and Conservation welcomed. Animal welfare must be the minister's top priority and we look forward to engaging with him on this issue."

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