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DEAD AND BURIED - The plight of the pheasants
Posted 1 October 2003
The following extracts are taken from Alexander Chancellor's Diary in the Daily Telegraph, 27th October 2003.
"Pheasants die in their millions every winter, as more and more people, from an ever-wider social stratum, take up shooting as a recreation...
"There are now believed to be about 20 million pheasants in Britain, about one pheasant for every three human beings, which is already thought to be double the number of 20 years ago.
"This is the result of intensive breeding that sometimes makes a walk in the country feel like a stroll through a poultry farm. These birds are then persuaded most reluctantly to fly in order to be shot at.
"But even though people do their level best to kill as many of them as possible, they cannot keep up with the numbers being bred...
"So what happens to all these millions of dead pheasants? Landowners say that they can't even give them away and that large numbers of them end up buried in mass graves...
"It seems that the British just aren't prepared to eat them. Whether this is out of disgust at they way they are bred to be killed or out of fear that they will be full of poisonous lead pellets, I do not know, but it seems an awful pity."