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  • strelitzia32strelitzia32 Posts: 767
    I'm not so certain about "skillfully and humanely".

    There's a pheasant shoot very close to me, I've had to chase away the people from my property (and firing at an angle that could very easily count as "over my garden") enough times. Invariably they seem to be entitled people (attitude, not class) who quickly react with disgust to anyone who objects to them. Unfortunately for them, I don't back down.

    Fact is, people on shoots are hardly SAS or Navy SEAL snipers. They are perhaps partially competent amateur shooters, who pepper woodland with lead whilst trying to kill a bird that's minding its own business. Who knows how many other animals they hit.

    The idea that any of these birds are "humanely" killed is, in my opinion, a falsehood. They are deliberately stressed and flushed out by beaters, and then hit anywhere a (un)lucky bullet lands on their body. They then crash to the ground to be grabbed by a dog, and finally have their neck snapped if they survive all that.

    @Dovefromabove this would be a different discussion if they were somehow killed via an instant single shot, as per your "not out of range" comment, but they're not, regardless of the best of intentions.

    There is zero comparison to sheep, pigs, chickens or any other farm "crop". There would be an outcry if a farmer slaughtered his sheep by standing 100 yards away and firing a gun at their heads, and 4 times out of 10 all he did was fatally injure them, leaving them in pain until a dog finished the job.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 66,205
    edited July 2020
    I’d still rather eat a shot pheasant than a chicken that has been bred to spend all its short life with thousands of others in a fetid smelling poultry shed on a floor of excrement and then be loaded into a cramped crate and onto a lorry and transported for hours to a an industrialised conveyor belt slaughterhouse. 

    And farmers have cousins, siblings, children, uncles and aunts who work in the City you know ... many of them grew up in the country and understand and love the rural way of life  ... many of them  had the ‘misfortune’ to be a younger child and had to make their living outside agriculture ... few farms can support more than one family. Some of the bankers and CEOs have real rural roots. 

     To say that a farmers market is a social occasion is a real misunderstanding of what happens there ... a farmer is selling what he/she had raised ... getting the right price can make the difference between profit and loss for the year ... whether the farm can buy the ‘seed corn’ for the next year or not ... you might as well say that what goes on on the trading floor of the stock exchange is a social occasion.  There may be chat and banter at a market but it’s not a relaxed social occasion for the farmer with stock to buy or sell, and agricultural shows are ‘business’ for the majority of farmers. 

    As for the effects on the ecosystem by releasing farmed pheasants, there were undoubtedly changes caused due to the introduction to Gt Britain by the Normans of rabbits which escaped the warrens and spread across the countryside, but I think that the wild rabbit is generally regarded as part of our natural fauna nowadays (whatever would our buzzards and stoats do without them?) ... as are fallow deer, another species introduced in order to provide meat albeit for the landowners. 

    Pheasants have been reared and released year on year on farms since at least the 1600s, probably since Norman times and were possibly introduced by the Romans. 

    As you say @wild edges, there has been some poor management of some large shoots ... driven by the need for profit as in all business ... the tide has turned and much more environmentally responsible approaches are being taken in the majority of cases. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • strelitzia32strelitzia32 Posts: 767
    I’d still rather eat a shot pheasant than a chicken that has been bred to spend all its short life with thousands of others in a fetid smelling poultry shed [ ........ ]

    I completely agree that modern intensive farming methods such as battery chickens are inhumane, and welfare standards need to be addressed.

    But that's not relevant to shooting pheasants, which should be banned for the reasons I explained.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 66,205
    I'm not so certain about "skillfully and humanely".


    .... fatally injure them, leaving them in pain until a dog finished the job.
    I’m sorry but you’ve been very poorly informed ... any gundog that ‘finished the job’ would never be allowed on a shoot again. A gundog is of a breed with a ‘soft mouth’ and is trained to find and pick up shot birds and take them back to his handler who will check that they are dead. If they are not they will have their neck wrung to swiftly dislocate and sever the spinal cord causing instant death ... just as my father would wring the neck of an older laying hen for the pot. 

    A good gundog will hardly ruffle the feathers of a bird it’s retrieving, and will never use its teeth. 

    As for ‘partially competent amateurs’ ... where do you think the prizewinning clay pigeon champions get started, not to mention many of our target shooting champions ... some Olympic champions ... as I said, there’s a lot of pride taken in skilful shooting (and a lot of derision heaped on those who don’t try to improve). The last thing the organiser of any shoot wants is to be landed with a load of badly shot-up birds the game dealer won’t accept. 

    It is an offence if anyone is alarmed or disturbed by the use of a firearm within 50ft of the centre of a public highway.  If someone was firing over my garden I would contact the local police rural crime team and asking them to have a stern word with the landowner.  

    Those of us who eat meat have to accept that animals       have to be killed on our behalf. 

    I really believe that no one should eat meat unless they are prepared to do the deed at least once themselves, and those who choose not to eat meat should question their relationship with carnivorous animals, be they pets or the prides of lions and African wild dogs we all watch hunting, mauling and killing their ‘terrified’ prey to feed themselves and their offspring, and owls hunting and ripping apart the bodies of still squeaking voles.  

    I absolutely accept the right to choose not to eat meat ... but I do not believe that choosing not to kill animals or not to eat meat makes anyone morally superior to a lion, a wolf, an owl or a polar bear, any more than I believe that a lion is ‘wrong’ to disembowel a kicking breathing zebra. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 5,627
    I'm not so certain about "skillfully and humanely".
    Not picking on you but a lot of what you posted is inaccurate and I think the picture in your mind differs from the reality. You've obviously had bad experiences but most shoots are well controlled and the shooters are experienced, accurate shots. Around 2/3 of the 40million+ pheasants that are released are killed by predators and cars so you can't say they're living a stress free life until the beaters turn up. These birds are pretty easy targets for most shooters and a shotgun fires a few hundred lead shots at them at a time at short range. If you see what happens to a clay pigeon when it gets hit you wouldn't think a pheasant would survive long after the same treatment. Shooting is not without numerous faults that need addressing but it's not as bad as you're making out.
  • debs64debs64 West Midlands, on the edge of the Black Country Posts: 3,062
    I think pheasants probably do have a better life than chickens but it’s the thought of killing things for fun that upsets many people. It is certainly not a sport and I am one of the many who don’t like guns under any circumstances. Fox hunting is appalling and cannot be condoned at all but there is an argument for shooting pheasants. I just would never do it and would be inclined to disapprove of those that did. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 66,205
    edited July 2020
    It’s the word ‘fun’ that I don’t recognise in this context ... pleasure and pride in a job skilfully done has very different connotations. 

    People who shoot do not talk about ‘going shooting to have fun’ ... it’s a term I only hear from people who don’t shoot and who use it pejoratively to put an emotional spin
    on it :/

    ‘Enjoying a days shooting’ doesn’t mean ‘fun’ any more than ‘enjoying a brisk walk’ does ... fun is fairgrounds and parties. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Digging-itDigging-it Posts: 67
    Is lead still used in shooting....really?
  • dave125dave125 Posts: 159
    Just to point out that the white Pheasant is also a male so they will have to form a civil partnership and adopt.
    Luv Dave
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 2,286
    I hadn't thought of 'fun' as only fairgrounds and parties, I suppose I mean pleasure. I don't understand 'a job well done', because it isn't a job, something that needs doing, like washing the dishes or putting up a shelf. 
    Of course, not all farm-bred people can become farmers and why wouldn't they go back to the country to enjoy their former lives? But why kill something? There are thousands of tasks a farmer has to do, they could do some of those. Or they could lean on a gate and have a chat. Or walk all the fences to check for gaps. 
    I suppose,  for me, the whole issue is the killing as a leisure activity. I have seen those beautiful,  silly birds plunge from the sky. It is truly heart-breaking. It would be nearer ok if it were necessary and done as work, but to enjoy it is repugnant,  to me.
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