THE pheasant shooting season is now underway.

But please don’t be fooled by starry-eyed descriptions of happy birds roaming freely before being shot ‘for the pot’.

Half of the 35 million birds released every year by shooting estates come from breeding birds factory-farmed on the continent, mutilated through the nose and confined in small wire-mesh cages. They are fattened in overcrowded sheds and pens only to be shot and suffer a drawn-out, pointless death by people who pay for the pleasure.

And with an average of 500 birds shot down on each shoot, most of the birds are dumped in a pit, not eaten.

Nor does it help with conservation. Keeping as many birds as possible alive until they can be shot by paying shooters requires the wholesale slaughter of native predator animals.

Finally, economists have debunked claims that the commercial shooting industry contributes significantly to the UK economy.

Dr Toni Shephard
Head of Research
League Against Cruel Sports