Thousands urge University of Wales to end pheasant shooting for good at its Powys campus.

The University of Wales is being urged to end pheasant shooting at Gregynog Hall, Powys, as the ‘final season’ of its controversial deed closes.

Over 8,000 supporters of the League Against Cruel Sports have contacted Vice Chancellor, Medwin Hughes, to back a ban ahead of the pheasant shooting season ending next Friday.

The university has responded to pressure by announcing a review into the future of game bird shooting on its land, ahead of arrangements at Gregynog expiring on 28th February.

Chris Luffingham, Director of Campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said:

“Pheasants are being factory farmed on an industrial scale, before being released by their tens of thousands into the university’s grounds to be used as feathered targets. Any native wild animals which interfere with the commercial shooting operation are destroyed by gamekeepers.

“The University of Wales has an opportunity and a responsibility to end blood sports on its land by not renewing its pheasant shooting lease. With over 8,000 people contacting the university to demand this outcome as the ‘final season’ comes to a close, nothing else will suffice.”

Figures released by the University of Wales show that over 57,000 non-indigenous pheasants have been factory farmed and released into the grounds of Gregynog Hall over the past five years to be killed by shooting parties.

Native predators, including foxes, corvids and squirrels, are being trapped and shot by gamekeepers to preserve large numbers of pheasants for the guns. These practices result in an overall decrease in biodiversity, including through displacing wild birds and upsetting the delicate ecology, the League adds.

Chris Luffingham added:

“The University of Wales is blessed with a beautiful campus and fantastic students. It would be a real shame if they continue to associate themselves with birds being blasted out of the sky for fun, which most people want to see stopped. Universities should be forward-thinking, enlightened places of learning not ancient institutions that uphold the cruel traditions of the past.”

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