Animal Aid

The Taste of Cruelty at Sainsbury's

Posted 12 October 2006

Sainsbury’s has joined forces with the British Association for Shooting and Conservation “Game’s On” campaign to increase the profile of game meat. The Game’s On logo will be included on the packaging of Sainsbury’s new Taste the Difference range of game. The range is due to be launched on 20 October 2006.

Ben Hills, product technologist at Sainsbury’s said; ‘In line with our customers’ demands, we have produced a portfolio of products that sit within our Taste the Difference range with support from Game’s On. These products will satisfy both our customers and our own expectations for providing fresh, tasty, healthy and safe food with the highest standards of animal welfare.’

Animal Aid was responsible for bringing the inhumane conduct of the shooting industry to public prominence. Pheasants and partridges shot in the United Kingdom are not wild, but cruelly bred in barren cages exposed to harsh weather in gigantic game farms. During the captivity phase of their lives, from May to September, bred game birds are routinely fed with the harsh antibiotic Lasalocid Sodium, marketed as Avatec by the pharmaceutical company Alpharma. This drug has been used for nearly 30 years to control a parasitic infection which is the result of intensive systems. It is illegal to dose egg-producing chickens with Lasalocid. Those who are most at risk from Lasalocid residues in food are people who suffer from cardiac arrhythmia, such as Tony Blair.

Only 40 per cent of game birds released for sport shooting are recovered by shooting. About 35 million are released every year. Game breeding and releasing for sport shooting is cruel and wasteful. It should never be considered as the production of healthy wild food.

Says Animal Aid Shooting Consultant, Kit Davidson:

‘Sainsbury’s is marketing shot birds with the slogan “Taste the Difference”, but this mass-produced product serves only the cruel shooting industry, pharmaceutical drugs manufacturers and the fat cats who profit from sport shooting. The way in which the game birds are bred, reared and meet their deaths means that shot pheasant and partridge can never be described as organic.’

Notes for Editors:

  1. For more information, contact Animal Aid's Andrew Tyler on 01732 364546.
  2. For full background and Animal Aid’s reports Fowl Play and Assault and Battery, which expose the cruelty of barren cages in British game bird rearing, see the shooting campaign index.
  3. Information about the antibiotic Lasalocid Sodium may be found at
  4. We have an ISDN line for broadcast quality interviews.

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