By WMNPBowern | Posted: December 16, 2015
Allegations of cruelty at a Westcountry farm that rears game birds for shooting estates have been comprehensively rejected after an visit by a government animal welfare inspector.
The League Against Cruel Sports trespassed at the Devon game farm last month and filmed red-legged partridges which are used as breeding birds and kept in raised laying units.
The animal rights charity published the video footage on its website this week, claiming the units at the Devon farm were in an “extremely poor state of repair”. It alleged there were exposed nails and holes in the walls between cages large enough for birds to fit through.
It went on: “This could lead to fights and injuries as partridges are extremely choosy about their cage mate. The wooden structure also makes disinfection impossible, increasing the risk of illness and disease among the birds.”
But north Devon based Southern Partridges, the business at the centre of the allegations, had a visit from an inspector from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as a result of the allegations. She found no evidence to support the League’s claims.
A spokesman at the farm said: “She said there was no evidence of cruelty or breaches of the code. The birds looked perfect and all was well.”
He went on: “The pens are not in a poor state of repair. They are made in top quality marine grade ply and any holes pecked by the birds in the side walls are patched to prevent access to the adjoining pen. There is no difficulty in disinfecting them.
“The exposure of the nails on the top net restraining bar was entirel