Charity dispels myths of UK shooting industry
Animal welfare charity, the League Against Cruel Sports to issue shooting industry exposé to parliamentarians on first day of pheasant shooting season.
Sunday, 30th September 2012: As shooting fanatics up and down the country prepare to go out and mark the start of the pheasant shooting season tomorrow, the League Against Cruel Sports' exposé into the UK’s shooting industry will be on its way, ready to land on all 649 Members of Parliament desks along with their Monday morning coffees.
The pheasant shooting season runs from 1st October until 1st February. Throughout this period, inexperienced shooters, including children, pay to blast thousands of pheasants out the sky, often leaving the birds wounded to die lingering deaths rather than killing them outright.
However, some of the worst cruelty behind the industry start months prior to the season getting underway. The League’s video, ‘Gunsmoke and Mirrors’ reveals the murky truth behind the UK’s shooting industry and quashes the half truths made by the shooting lobby.
Over three chapters, the film examines battery farming; killing of protected species; and waste and pollution. With shooting promoted as a free range and organic way to enjoy game meat, the film reveals how far from the truth this is, with footage from breeding farms showing the battery conditions in which many game birds begin their lives. It also shows the unnatural behaviour displayed by chicks as a result of stress and the mutilations used to prevent them harming themselves and each other.
Game birds are not the only victims of the shooting industry, with foxes, badgers, otters, birds of prey, as well as cats and dogs becoming intended and unintended victims as they are poisoned, shot, trapped and snared in the name of ‘predator control’.
The League is calling on MPs to pledge their support in urging the Government to ensure that animals are protected from such senseless destruction caused by the game shooting industry. An Early Day Motion (EDM) was tabled by Michael Connarty MP on 3rd July 2012 and has already received significant cross party support for the film and the League’s campaign.
‘Gunsmoke and Mirrors’ is the culmination of almost ten years of undercover work into sporting estates and the shooting industry by League Against Cruel Sports’ investigators and shines a light on the truth behind the sport. Using footage obtained from estates and game breeding farms around the UK, as well as interviews with key spokespeople, the reality of this cruel industry is exposed in what is believed to be the most comprehensive study in recent years.
The League’s Chief Executive Joe Duckworth says: “The game shooting industry in this country is a national embarrassment and sadly the problems highlighted in the film are not isolated incidents. Over the years, we have come across the same horrific issues over and over again and it is high time the public witnessed for themselves what really happens on a shoot, as well as all the unacceptable and needless cruelty of the industry."
’Gunsmoke and Mirrors’ is in stark contrast to the sanitised films produced by the shooting industry which attempt to show shooting as a wholesome sport. They don’t, however, show you the thousands of birds shot and injured but not killed; the unskilled shooters taking pot shots at these defenceless birds; and the horrors of snaring and other predator control used to protect game stocks.
“We are asking for all MPs to watch our film and make up their own minds about the suffering inflicted by game birds and other animals within the shooting industry", adds Mr Duckworth. "We are pleased to see support being registered across the different political parties and urge all MPs opposed to what they see to sign the EDM.”