League says Protect Gamebirds
The League Against Cruel Sports has warned MSPs that unless proper preparation is undertaken, very large numbers of released gamebirds will needlessly die.
The League gave evidence to the Environmental and Rural Affairs Committee at the Scottish Parliament yesterday and discussed many issues including gamebirds, tail docking and deer welfare.
60% of gamebirds released into the wild for shooting never even meet the guns, and the shooting industry’s own research has found that the majority of those not shot die of starvation, predation, disease, road accidents and other causes (‘Fate of released pheasants’, Clare Turner and Rufus Sage, Game Conservancy Trust). Other shooting research suggests that intensively reared gamebirds simply do not have the survival instincts of wild gamebirds. They may be particularly vulnerable to attacks by natural predators, less able to cope with wild diets, and more susceptible to parasitic infections (Draycott, R.A.H (2002) Effects of supplementary feeding on the body condition and breeding success of released pheasants Acta Universitatis Ouluensis A 392: 1-41).
Douglas Batchelor, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said today:
“The shooting industry’s own research has demonstrated that the survival rate of gamebirds released into the wild is lower then that of gamebirds born naturally in the wild. There must be measures in place to protect any gamebirds which are going to be released into the wild and if these measures are not put in place prior to the birds being released then surely that must be cruel and puts the welfare of the birds in question.”