Animal Aid

Madonna gives up bird shooting... Now get to work on your Guy

Posted 16 November 2005

The news that Madonna is giving up pheasant shooting - having witnessed a bird die agonisingly in front of her - is especially good news, because her high-profile support for the bloodsport has been responsible for encouraging people to shoot who might never have done so. Many additional birds would have suffered and died as a result of her glossy advocacy. We therefore urge Madonna to act, from now on, as a vocal opponent of shooting. This means the immediate ending of all production and killing at her own Ashcombe Estate. Animal Aid feels confident that Madonna is woman enough to win round her macho husband, Guy Ritchie, and persuade him to take up a sport that does not involve the deliberate torment and killing of animals.

Animal Aid has investigated and reported on gamebird production and shooting for five years. Some 35 million pheasants are intensively bred every year in Britain, through the use of industrial hatcheries, sheds and pens. Our most recent report, Assault & Battery, reveals the rapidly increasing popularity of battery cages for confining egg-producing pheasants and partridges. The national campaign group is calling for a total ban on the production of birds for 'sport shooting'. Such a prohibition has already been implemented in Holland under that country's 2002 Flora and Fauna Act.

Madonna's change of heart is described in next month's Tatler. She told the magazine:

"I was mad for shooting a couple of years ago. I used to go for lessons at the West London Shooting School, and I loved my bespoke outfits and everything. It was so much fun."

"That all changed when a bird dropped in front of me that I'd shot. It wasn't dead. It got up and it was really suffering. Blood was gushing out of its mouth and it was struggling up this hill, and I thought 'Oh God, I did that'. I caused the suffering of this creature." That was that for Madonna, even though husband Guy still holds shooting parties for his mates, including the likes of Brad Pitt, Vinnie Jones and Marco Pierre White."

Notes to Editors

  • ISDN line available for broadcast-quality interviews.
  • For more information, contact Andrew Tyler on 01732 364546
  • For background, see our report Assault & Battery.

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