As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Millions of Britain's Birds Are Bred in Battery-Like Conditions to be Hunted, Maimed, and Killed

March 5, 2016 | 12:56 pm

When it comes to blood sports, game bird shooting has got to be about as humane as it gets, right? The birds have a happy life roaming free before being shot as they fly, then they're eaten.

Wrong. More than 30 million pheasants and partridges are bred to be released into the wild in the UK each year — and undercover research by the charity League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) published last week has revealed they are often bred in battery-like conditions. The massive quantity of birds released — around 14 million of which are killed annually — amounts to around 20 percent of Britain's total wild bird population.

Hundreds of thousands come from continental Europe as chicks or adolescent birds, enduring journeys so torrid that shipping company Brittany Ferries banned their transport between France and Britain late last year. Meanwhile, despite most of the shot birds ultimately being eaten, they are classified by the UK government as sporting animals rather than livestock, so normal farming welfare standards do not apply.

new report by LACS presented to British parliament late last month highlighted the harrowing conditions seen in the trade, with egg-laying game hens kept in the sort of confinement that has been made illegal for farmed chickens. The charity has launched a campaign demanding a government inquiry into the industry.

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