Dead pheasants ‘left to rot’ by Ashburnham footpath

The pile of rotting pheasants was dumped near a public footpath in Ashburnham SUS-160302-163256001
The pile of rotting pheasants was dumped near a public footpath in Ashburnham SUS-160302-163256001

Up to 200 dead pheasants were dumped in pile and ‘left to rot’ alongside a public footpath.

A dog walker stumbled across the gruesome find in Ashburnham last Friday (January 29).

He said he believed the birds had been there for ‘a few days’. Some of the rotting carcasses had been partially eaten by animals.

It’s thought the pheasants were killed at a mass shoot before they were dumped.

He said: “I’m horrified this is the sort of attitude of a pheasant shoot, to be honest.

“I’m anti these mass shoots, which are largely done for people from cities and towns who pay a small fortune to come down and blast a load of pheasants. My belief is you shoot pheasants to eat.

“You don’t shoot more than can be eaten by the people there.”

He added: “It’s pretty awful for these shoots to take place anyway. But to just discover them in a pile in the countryside like that – it’s just wrong.”

The incident has been reported to The British Association for Shooting and Conservation.

A BASC spokesperson said: “BASC is the UK’s largest shooting organisation, representing the interests of more than 144,000 members. The association takes seriously its responsibility for promoting ethical shooting.

“BASC advises all members to follow the Code of Good Shooting Practice, which requires those who shoot to have respect for their quarry.

“Any BASC member found to be breaking this code will be expelled.

“Figures show that up to 97 per cent of all edible quarry killed in Britain is eaten; all birds which are fit for the table should be used in that way.

“The code also places obligations on shoot managers to ensure they have appropriate arrangements for the sale or consumption of the anticipated bag in advance of shoot days.

“Game must be regarded as food and should be treated as such from the moment it is shot until it reaches the table.

“BASC condemns behaviour which could bring shooting into disrepute and therefore welcomes proper investigation of apparent instances of birds being dumped.

“Sometimes, all is not as it seems. For example, we know of an occasion when a game cart was stolen from a shooting estate and birds were tipped at the side of the road by the thieves.”

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