Posts tagged game

Animal welfare manifesto commitments welcomed

The League said it was “greatly encouraged” by commitments in the Labour Party’s “Green Manifesto”, published earlier today.

The Manifesto pledges to maintain the ban on hunting with dogs, ban the use of cages for game birds, and a review of all wildlife crime legislation.

A spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports – which has this week taken launched a ‘Fox Tour’ taking a six foot fox on a tour of hunting constituencies – said it was “greatly encouraged” to see such strong commitments to animal welfare. “We just don’t understand why some politicians want to bring back hunting with dogs when over 75% of the public support the ban,” he said. “There have been over 130 convictions under the Hunting Act and there are two cases progressing through the courts now. Today’s commitment in the Labour manifesto is very welcome.”

The League’s campaign has won the celebrity backing of actors including Gemma Atkinson and Tony Robinson.

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Wake up, Lembit!

On Wednesday last week – with only a few hours of parliamentary time remaining – the Liberal Democrat PPC and ‘Middle Way Group’ chairman, Lembit Öpik, tabled an Early Day Motion on the rearing of game birds. It says:

“That this House notes the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Gamebirds Reared for Sporting Purposes as laid before the House on 15 March 2010; believes that the guidelines in the Code are at variance with the three options which formed part of the consultation on the draft Code prior to its submission to the House; further believes that this incomprehensible and unilateral change to the Code invalidates the consultation process and significantly undermines the quality of the Code particularly in regard to guidelines on cages; and calls on the Government to withdraw the Code and to reformulate it in line with the feedback from experts and practitioners in the rearing of gamebirds.”

The purpose of an Early Day Motion is to get signatures, which is difficult in the extreme when you publish your EDM just hours before parliament ends. But the most bizarre consideration is that it’s taken Lembit almost a month from publication of the Code of Practice to get the EDM laid. Where has he been for the last month?

Some might wonder what his motivation is. That’s easy. His Montgomeryshire constituency includes the Bettws Farm game empire, recently the subject of a League exposé.

PS: The website for the Muddled Way Group; sorry, ‘Middle Way Group’ appears to have disappeared. Let’s hope the Group has disappeared too.

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Government ‘courageous’ for banning cages for game birds

The League has welcomed the government’s decision to effectively ban the use of raised cages for the rearing of game birds, describing the move as ‘courageous’.

The League Against Cruel Sports said that the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) had come up against strong opposition to the move, which outlaws the use of cages for the rearing of pheasants and partridges. Defra also considered the use of ‘enriched’ cages where birds are provided with more space.

Douglas Batchelor, Chief Executive of the League, said:

“We knew all along that the government and leading people in the shooting industry were keen on a ban on these awful cages used for intensive gamebird rearing, but they came up against a determined group in the multi-million pound shooting industry who appeared to care more about the money to be made from intensive rearing methods than animal welfare.

“These gamebirds were being bred and reared to be used as live targets so that people can shoot at them for sport. The public are now voting with their wallets and purses on free range chicken, but unfortunately some were still hoodwinked into thinking that game meat was all free range, extensive, wild, and natural when the truth was, that most pheasants and partridges started out life in intensive conditions much like battery reared chickens. The proposed changes will at least reduce the intensity and almost industrial nature of gamebird rearing and the suffering that results from keeping birds better suited to the wild, in captivity,” Mr Batchelor said.

A number of other organisations, including the British Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC) and the RSPCA, also backed an outright ban.

Defra have announced that all cages must be put out of use by 1st October.

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Image of the Day – 111

There’s a shooting estate adjacent to the League’s main sanctuary near Dulverton in Somerset. As a result, our staff there often find birds on the sanctuary. Here’s a beautiful male pheasant snapped by our Head of Operations, Paul Tillsley.

Most people look at pheasants and think they are wild, natural and free range. The reality is quite different, and later today DEFRA will publish new guidelines on the rearing of game birds. We expect, and hope, that they will ban the cruel and inhumane cages once and for all. Watch this space.

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Decision on game bird rearing due Friday

We heard yesterday that the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – DEFRA – plan to publish their long awaited regulations on game bird rearing at the end of this week.

The League, together with a host of animal welfare charities and the British Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC), called on DEFRA to ban the use of cages for the rearing of game birds. Unsurprisingly, the Countryside Alliance and some shooters took issue with this and asked DEFRA to recommend the use of ‘enriched’ cages instead.

Late last year, we were told that DEFRA Ministers preferred the idea of the ban. We hope they’ve stuck to that preference.

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NI environment officials urged to use new Bill to protect animals

The League is urging the Northern Ireland Department of the Environment to use the new Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill to upgrade the protection status of the Irish hare and to make the manufacture, sale and use of snares illegal.

Responding to a consultation on the Bill the League has outlined the threat facing the Irish hare if it is not afforded full permanent protection which is possible within the scope of the new legislation. It has also put forward evidence arguing that the negative impact of snaring on the welfare of animals far outweighs any justification for their continued use.

NI Campaigner Mary Friel said: “We are delighted to be involved with the Bill process and to work with the Department on these issues. We hope our concerns will be given serious consideration and the Department will use the new Bill to implement legislation to prevent animal suffering and improve conservation”.

Download our Consultation Response from our website.

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Image of the Day – 82

Today’s image is of a very lucky cat. How, you may ask, is it lucky, when it’s obviously been caught in a snare. The answer’s simple: it has been discovered in the snare, alive, and so it will survive. The reality for tens of thousands of other animals is far from the same.

Our Chief Executive is today addressing the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont, putting forward our clear case for the manufacture, sale and use of these horrific devices to be made illegal. The UK is one of only five countries in the EU to still permit this barbaric practice.

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