Animal Aid

YOUNG BLOOD - MP's condemn young killers

Posted 1 June 2002
This child is just two years old

As part of Animal Aid's ongoing campaign against pheasant rearing and shooting, we produced a damning report last November exposing the way the industry is avidly recruiting young children to make up for a big reduction in the number of shotgun users during the last 15 years.

Young Blood revealed that a child of any age can use a shotgun to kill animals for pleasure, as long as someone over 21 'supervises'. Young children, we revealed, are also being granted shotgun certificates in their own names.

The child pictured here, retrieving dead birds shot by her father, is just two years old.

Among the hard hitting media coverage that followed were articles in the News of the World and Sunday Mirror - the latter finding 200 children, some as young as nine, with certificates in their own name.

The scandal of the child shooters has been taken up by Birmingham Hall Green Labour MP Steve McCabe. His Early Day Motion (EDM), arising directly out of Animal Aid's campaign, condemns the hard-sell tactics of the shooting lobby and echoes our call for the government to 'take prompt and decisive action to keep firearms out of the hands of small children...'

At the time of going to press, 57 MPs had signed. A counter EDM by pro-shooting MPs, attacking McCabe's initiative, had attracted just four signatories.

According to the industry's own lobbyists and commentators, every year in the UK some 35 million shed-reared pheasants are released to be shot. Half die from disease, exposure, traffic and other causes before they can be blasted from the sky. About half of those who are shot are not eaten - they are left to rot or are buried in specially dug holes.

Action

The National Anti Snaring Campaign is a new group campaigning against the extreme cruelty of snares, as used by the shooting industry to trap so called predator species. See www.antisnaring.org.uk for more information.

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