4×4 Emergency repair, debt and insurance fund.

Update posted by Freeda Brocks On Jan 17, 2019

main article:


video showing dozens of dead pheasants being dumped in a pit by a

digger has revealed a dark side to Britain’s multimillion-pound

bird-shooting business.

The practice of dumping the birds was shown in a video secretly taken by animal welfare activists


taken by animal welfare activists shows a forest clearing strewn with

rotting pheasants. A JCB drives into the shot and disgorges hundreds

more. The clip, which was shot in November at Cotesbach Game farm in

Leicestershire, appears to undermine industry promises that shot birds

go into the food chain as game.

About 50 million

birds in Britain are bred each year to be shot at more than 5,000

shoots. Customers often pay thousands of pounds to kill up to 800 birds a

day. The industry claims that it puts £2 billion a year into the rural


Activists have long called for the sport to be banned, saying that many birds are not eaten but secretly dumped.


Bell, chairman of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation, said last

night that the video showed “an abomination” and called for the

perpetrators to face justice. The dumping of pheasants could breach the

law if they are not disposed of correctly. The British Association for

Shooting and Conservation said the practice was unacceptable.


footage was shared with The Times as part of a wider investigation into

the state of Britain’s shooting industry. Figures obtained under

freedom of information laws showed that only 6 per cent — 3.1 million

birds — entered the food chain through government-registered

game-processing plants.

Slack demand for game meat

has resulted in the number of dealers halving since 2008, from 91 to 50.

The price they pay for pheasants dropped from 60p in 2012 to 30p last

year. Some dealers had to be paid by shoots to collect birds.


of the birds dumped at Cotesbach had had their breast meat removed but

the rest of the meat was wasted, the activists said. This was denied by

the Cotesbach shoot, which said that all usable meat had been removed.


Galbraith, editor of Shooting Times, said it was up to the shooting

industry to make sure that birds “in their entirety” got to where they

were needed. “In a country where two million people are malnourished and

three million are at risk of becoming so, a video of any meat being

dumped in a hedge makes for uncomfortable viewing,” he said.


industry estimates that less than half the birds released from game

farms are actually shot and most of those are taken home by the

shooters, the beaters or shoot staff, so don’t appear in government

statistics. The rest are sold to local pubs and butchers through legal

but informal channels or go to game dealers.


longstanding rumours of pheasants being burnt and buried have prompted a

number of initiatives over the past two years to make sure more are

eaten. Sir Ian Botham, the former England cricketer who owns the Sawley

estate in North Yorkshire, pledged to donate 10,000 pheasants and

partridges to food banks in 2017.

Neil Clarke,

director of Cotesbach Game Ltd, said the dumped pheasants had come from

the Cotesbach shoot, which he runs with his wife. Mr Clarke said,

however, that all the meat was processed. “The allegations that we would

dispose of dead game without taking all the meat off goes against all

the morals I have been taught,” he said. Even damaged meat was used for

sausages, he added.

The Department for Environment,

Food and Rural Affairs said that game and wildlife conservation played a

key role in keeping the countryside productive and beautiful. “However,

we are clear their actions must not come at a cost to our high animal

welfare standards or ambitious efforts to tackle food waste,” it added.

Guy Walters Opinion piece:


enjoy killing animals. A lot of men do. If you find this distasteful,

then too bad. The chances are you eat meat, and we all know that we do

not need to. We can get the protein, fat and other nutrients we need without killing animals, but that ribeye just tastes so good, doesn’t it?


face it, we only eat animals for entertainment. You eat them for fun. I

kill them for fun. In fact, because I kill them, it’s tempting to

believe I’m morally more consistent than those too squeamish to do so.


it’s that argument that justifies why I think — or thought — shooting

driven game such as partridge and pheasant is — or was — defensible. If

all the birds I shoot are consumed, then I am no more accountable for my

actions than an abattoir worker.

But what happens

if the birds are not eaten? What if they are loaded on to a teleporter

and dumped down a hidden bank, as we see in this video? Or, as is

rumoured for a celeb-heavy shoot near me, the birds are put into an


As someone who kills for fun, this

video appals me. And it does not just appal me, but it appals all the

people with whom I go shooting.

This does not just

mean those who can afford to pull the trigger but all the other

participants — beaters, keepers, those with dogs who pick up the dead

birds, even those who cook our lunch. Be in doubt — shooting is not just

for the loaded.

On the days we shoot, we kill

anything from 50 to 80 birds. Those birds are shared and taken home to

eat. But on the huge commercial shoots, when up to 600 birds are killed

six days a week for the length of the season — equating to some 60,000

birds — then it’s clear that the quantities are too great. Despite

well-meaning attempts to get those birds into the food chain there is

not enough demand from consumers to eat the millions of pheasant and

partridge shot every year.

What motivates the big

shoots is, of course, cash, pure and simple. Estates charge up to £50

per bird shot, which means revenues running into the millions.


so the birds get dumped. Everybody — I repeat, everybody — in the

shooting world knows this. Yet there is a state of denial. Unless the

big shoots behave more like true countrymen rather than greedy

businessmen, public outcry will only lead to legislation to curb the

sport. Which will probably kill it.

Guy Walters is a historian, author and journalist

Bettws hall profits are up!:

Pheasant shooting is in rising demand, the manager of Britain’s largest commercial estate has said.


Evans, of Bettws Hall, said that business had “never been stronger”.

The company’s turnover was £14 million, up 12 per cent on the previous

year, and its profit before tax was £767,150, the latest accounts show.


Evans and his wife, Ann, started out 30 years ago as hill farmers in

mid Wales with 300 sheep and a few cattle. Now they own and manage nine

shooting estates across five counties, employ 150 full-time staff and

run 450 days of shooting during the game season between October and

February. They are also the UK’s largest game farm hatchery, rearing

more than 1.5 million birds across 50 sites.

Being a

gun on one of their estates next season costs between £1,200 for a

promised “200-bird” day and £3,900 for a “600-bird” day. Mr Evans said

that every bird on his estates was sold for meat and many were exported.


are booked up for next season,” he told The Times. “We have a strong

market from overseas, where 30 per cent of our shooters come from. What

is wonderful is these people come from overseas and the cities in the

south of England and they bring their money into the countryside.


is very difficult to make a living [from] and we get all these clients

who come from different walks of life and bring money and employment


Rich businessmen and women from overseas make

up a large proportion of those paying to shoot but most are British.

Their numbers are rising. As of March 2018, there were 567,047 shotgun

certificates on issue in England and Wales, an increase of 1 per cent on

the previous year. This was the first increase since the peak of

582,923 in 2014. There were 24,584 new applications for shotgun

certificates in 2017-18.

Liam Stokes, from the

Countryside Alliance, said that commercial operators were doing well but

the majority of shoots in the UK charged only to cover expenses or turn

a small profit.

A Savills survey into the industry

found that in 2013-14 just over half of shoots made a loss. Last season

this fell to 42 per cent. The increased popularity of game shooting has

led to more birds being released, creating an imbalance between game

meat supply and demand, the report said.

Times Ediotrial:


hunting is to many traditional country-dwellers a form of intimacy with

nature. Properly conducted, the shooting of game birds, in particular

pheasants, grouse and wildfowl, is not

an act of random bloodlust but rather a way of understanding the rhythms

and hierarchies of the countryside. Dogs are trained to retrieve the

bird, which is plucked, prepared, cooked and eaten by the shooters and

their beaters or passed on to local butchers.


shooting of game birds, however, loses its rationale when wealthy

clients pitch up at an estate, sometimes helicoptered in to shield them

from rural reality, to slaughter en masse. Typically these shooters

treat the pursuit much as they would a low-grade video game, with the

intent of boasting later about their haul. Up to 600 birds can be killed

six days a week for the length of the season. Millions of pheasants and

partridges are being shot in this way, resulting in a glut.


The Times reports today, the dead birds are being shoved into landfill

or left to rot in fields. The link between shooting and the food chain,

the chief justification for killing driven game, is being severed. A

good day of shooting for these self- indulgent guns is a bad day for

rural Britain. To cater for their needs, pheasants are raised in

conditions worse than those inflicted on battery chickens; they are

driven into the line of fire and then dumped. There is no sport in this

activity, no connection with the soil. The pheasant serves as no more

than an excuse for a party.

Estate managers find it

difficult to resist the profits. Hunters and shooters rent farmhouses,

pay farming staff to work as beaters or loaders and tip generously. At a

time when rural tourism is floundering, commercial shooters are a

valuable source of income. But shooting will fall into disrepute if it

fails to address the concerns of the likes of the British Game Alliance,

which seeks to stamp out bad practice.

At a time

when food banks struggle to meet the demand for nutritious and fresh

meat, the casual disposal of birds is perverse. Shooting has to be

independently regulated and shot birds should be processed as far is

practical into meat. Without hunting there would be no conservation,

without conservation there would be no wildlife. This should be a

guiding principle except in cases where hunting is notably cruel or

illegal. Shooters contribute to the wellbeing of the countryside but not

if they ignore the basic rules. Sometimes the guns have to fall silent.


is not a marginal interest. The government, notably Michael Gove in his

role as minister for farming and the environment, has rightly

emphasised the need to support the countryside at a time when expanding

cities swallow up resources and Brexit engenders uncertainty.


balance has to be struck between the urban and the rural. Agricultural

tourism should be promoted, much as it is in Italy. Estate managers

should be able to wean themselves away from the large commercial shoots

that simply strive to export metropolitan merry-making to country

hideaways. For everyone there is simple advice to follow: Eat native

brands, shop local. Curiosity has to be encouraged. A survey by the

Prince’s Countryside Fund found that one in eight young people has never

seen a cow in real life. A respect for Britain’s natural ecology should

be a part of civic culture.

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Update posted by Freeda Brocks On Jan 17, 2019

Check in with us on facebook.com/stop.the.cull for more updates on this story today, thank you everyone who has donated, we are raising the target on this campaign to help with future exposes of blood sports and the badger cull.
We are working on getting a lot more press, if you would like to read the articles behind the times paywall, you cn do so on our patreon account for free: https://www.patreon.com/stopthecull
Your support is greatly appreciated

Add a Comment

Update posted by Freeda Brocks On Jan 17, 2019

Check in with us on facebook.com/stop.the.cull for more updates on this story today, thank you everyone who has donated, we are raising the target on this campaign to help with future exposes of blood sports and the badger cull.
We are working on getting a lot more press, if you would like to read the articles behind the times paywall, you cn do so on our patreon account for free: https://www.patreon.com/stopthecull
Your support is greatly appreciated

Add a Comment

Update posted by Freeda Brocks On Nov 28, 2018

We have had the car a couple of weeks now, thank you to everyone who donated, we took out a paypal loan and are paying that back, since we've had the new vehicle, we've been going to pheasant shoots across the country several times a week, we are spending well over £100 a week in fuel, but we are crucially getting evidence of mass dumps of birds.

This image is one we took from a shoot just over an hour's drive away, the birds inside were partridges, shot, thrown in a bag and then dumped.

Instead of making another fund raiser for fuel, we have added £500 on to this one for the vehicle as this is precisely why we wanted a 4x4, to help us blend into the countryside and work unnoticed and undisturbed.

Thank you to everyone who has dontated, it's greatly appreciated. As soon as we can say more about the investigation we'll bring more updates.

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