Dead partridges dumped in lay-by

In its desperation to appear ethical and sustainable, the game shooting industry has often pretended that shot game birds all end up in the human food chain.

For example, in a letter to the Daily Telegraph in November 2005 headed ‘Game birds for eating not dumping’, Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance said this:

Every bird shot in Britain goes into the food chain, whether into participants’ freezers, or through game dealers into an increasing number of supermarkets, butchers, pubs and restaurants“.

Regular blog readers will know this claim has been debunked time and time and time again. We’ve previously blogged about how dead game birds have been dumped in the Scottish borders (here), Norfolk (here), Perthshire (here), Berkshire (here), North York Moors National Park (here) and some more (here), Co. Derry (here), Cheshire (here), West Yorkshire (here), N Wales (here), mid-Wales (here), Leicestershire (here) and Lincolnshire (here).

As we’ve written before, it seems to be a widespread problem, doesn’t it? That’s hardly a surprise when the game shooting industry is permitted to release as many non-native pheasants and red-legged partridge as it likes (estimated to be almost 60 million EVERY YEAR), with minimal regulation, and no requirement to report on what happens to those birds once they’ve been shot for a bit of a laugh.

Well guess what? Here’s another example, this time from Clackmannanshire in Scotland. Thanks to the blog reader who sent us these images, photographed on Tues 29 October 2019 in a lay-by on the A91 between Tillicoultry and Dollar.

In defence of this vile behaviour, it’s often argued that the dead birds have been ‘de-breasted’ (i.e. the breast meat has been removed) before the carcasses are dumped. Oh well that’s alright then, nothing to be concerned about, eh? Apart from showing zero respect for the quarry and zero consideration for the local residents who’ll have to foot the bill to have the carcasses removed.

This particular case has been reported to the local authority as a fly-tipping offence.

28 Responses to “Dead partridges dumped in lay-by”

  1. 1 Nigel
    November 5, 2019 at 11:14 am

    If they must murder these innocent creatures they could at least show them the respect of eating them. After all Hannibal Lecter ate his victims!

  2. 3 Richard Would
    November 5, 2019 at 11:32 am

    Those birds haven’t been “de-breasted”…

  3. 4 Harry Bickerstaff
    November 5, 2019 at 11:34 am

    These various pictures all give the lie to these people calling themselves ‘hunters’ as, without going into the arguments about killing birds, it shows that these birds are actually being shot for some perverse ‘pleasure’, as hunters, in general, only shoot what they are going to eat. By ANY standard, this is just a wasteful disgrace!

    • November 5, 2019 at 12:38 pm

      Exactly. This is the process I tried to explain in my much longer comment. Shooters always like to go along with the charade that they eat what they shoot, when in reality a very large proportion probably never prepare and eat the game birds they shoot. Most of them would be too embarrassed to admit this. However, in a whole industry where lying about what goes on is the norm, this is just another lie for them not to acknowledge.

  4. 6 Gerard Hobley
    November 5, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    I wonder if the locals are forced to use predator control in that area? Ie Young foxes survive the winter due to a plentiful supply of dumped dead birds, they go on to have cubs in spring band eat curlew chicks to feed them? Or have local curlew populations already been wiped out?

    • 7 Iain Gibson
      November 5, 2019 at 7:05 pm

      As far as I’m aware there is scant evidence that foxes are responsible for the decline of UK Curlews and their reduced breeding productivity. To blame foxes and attempt to eradicate them (locally) upon a false human conception is scientifically and ethically flawed, and in my opinion bad practice in general. It’s easy to mimic the hunters’ falsehood that a “striking” increase in foxes is responsible for the verified decline, but this view is lazily adopted by “cowboy” hunters and most sheep farmers as an acceptable concept to explain the loss of even a small percentage of lambs in the spring. Those of us who love wildlife and have spent most of our lives observing nature closely know that such allegations are simply untrue, nonsenses fostered by a community of (some) sheep farmers with somewhat vivid imaginations.

      Curlews, like Lapwings and other farmland birds, are simply victims of the ongoing use of pesticides which has decimated soil invertebrate populations on most fertile soils throughout the UK. Large numbers of waders being shot on our estuaries is another contributory factor, along with declines in mudflat invertebrates due to improvements in sewage management.

      • 8 John Miles
        November 6, 2019 at 9:33 am

        Stomach contents before 1975 show what food is now missing from the fields of Britain. The decline of waders started from that date!

      • 9 B lovesey
        November 6, 2019 at 4:47 pm

        Changes in farming practices is the biggest responsobilty for the decline in many birds and bugs one which is slowly being changed but until we have governments that will make change doubt it will happen , more incentives to leave margins and let hedges establish goes a long way but there isn’t the diversity to help pay incomes to farmers

  5. 10 AnMac
    November 5, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    Another piece of evidence left by our ‘Guardians of the countryside’

    They care little for what they do in a days work. Shocking behaviour and left for the council to clean up after them.

    • 11 B lovesey
      November 6, 2019 at 4:59 pm

      This is not the general actions of countryside people , I’ve lived in the countryside all my life and are from a farming background . It appalls me to see this happening and will bring the downfall to the big bag days and if this is the best they can do with even breasted out birds then I’m good with it . But I’ll tell you this you would not of seen this or heard of this 5 yrs back nor even 3 yrs back so I’m not sure people in the shooting industry could be stupid enough to carry on doing this with the amount of bad press the shooting gets now , they should be named and shamed it’s not to hard to find out the age of the dead birds and who was shooting on that week and day these are the people who should take the full rath of anybody against shooting

  6. 12 Linda Palmer
    November 5, 2019 at 12:24 pm


  7. November 5, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    I think the mechanism that drives this waste is quite simple. Those who go game shooting like to go along with the pretence of their industry that they eat the game they shoot. In reality very few people are used to the messy business of preparing a whole bird to eat. Anyone who has done this knows the incredible amount of feathers, blood and guts generated, even if you go for the simpler approach of just “de-breasting”. We live in an age when most people by pre-prepared food. People do not buy whole chickens and turkeys from butchers like these used to. They buy prepared and cleaned chickens and turkeys in plastic containers. Many people no longer peel their own vegetables. They have immaculate kitchens. Even many caterers buy pre-prepared food.

    So on the one side we have massively more game birds being shot, in an era when much less people are used to dealing with unprepared birds, which like chickens are usually dealt with in big processing plants. Game shooting is not well suited to this type of preparation in processing plants. The supply of birds is irregular, seasonal, and there’s a long chain between birds being shot in an ad hoc way, being collected, stored and delivered to game processing plants.

    This was brought home to me decades ago. Someone used to be invited on shoots, and take home pheasants with the pretence they were eating them, but threw them away. However, the person who ran the shoot was coming over for a meal with the person they invited on the shoot, and was expecting pheasant. So the invited person desperately asked me to prepare the pheasants as they’d never prepared a whole bird before. In other words only that invited dinner revealed the usual fate of the pheasants they took away. I’m sure this is happening on a much bigger scale. I doubt many game shooters would be willing to admit they were too squeamish to prepare the birds they shoot, and so go along with the charade of taking them away to eat, and then throw them out of the car at the nearest pull in spot.

  8. November 5, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    Disgraceful. This industry is all about unconscionable cruelty, environmental irresponsibility, and unmitigated corporate greed. Fed up that it is tolerated in Britain. The government has dragged its feet on these issues for far too long…. Corruption in the ranks!

  9. 16 Simon Tucker
    November 5, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    Any other industry with such a limited market would have gone out of business long ago. It is only sustained by the lie that it is farming and that these are livestock and that they get subsidy because of that. That it is sustained by a continuous assault on our wildlife through shooting, poisoning, snaring and trapping just beggars belief.

    For as long as we keep electing Tory and, it seems, SNP governments this will not change.

  10. 17 Bimbling
    November 5, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    Perhaps the owner of the photographs would like to send a selection in to the BBC website’s “Your Pictures of Scotland”?


  11. 18 TaddyOfKentoo
    November 5, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    Game bird shooting industry is totally out of control! An absolute sham, images of slaughtered species particularly endangered raptors & mammals is sickening.Moorons,keepers, terrier men etc their days are numbered.Soon, their status will be that of unemployed!The sooner the better!

    Revive, Wild Justice, keep up the campaign to secure justice for all forms of wildlife.All blogs/threads shared!
    Agree wholeheartedly,corrupt parliamentarians need to be identified & portrayed to the general public for what they are & their beliefs.

  12. 19 Les Wallace
    November 5, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    These birds would have been raised with feed – a product of intensive agriculture – and in the ‘wild’ probably had access to supplementary feed too. These birds aren’t truly wild birds that have been harvested, but not eaten, they are more akin to farm reared chickens just thrown away before they even had the chance to reach someone’s kitchen where they may or not have been wasted along with so much other food. These birds really need to be classed as full on food waste, an agricultural product. So how much land is used, how much pesticide, herbicide in the general environment and how much fertilizer run off polluting water ways (along with eroded soil) to produce pheasant and partridge that mostly end up as fox fodder, stink pit bait, landfill or being fly tipped? It infuriates me that A) this scandalous level of truly damaging waste goes on and B) it’s hardly ever being mentioned that a lot of intensive agriculture was needed to produce these birds. When their real eco footprint isn’t factored in how can any shoot be classed as a conservation success? The conservation credentials of the gamebird shooting sector are thread bare. I emailed Martin Harper a whlie ago that the RSPB have to look into this issue as well as non native invasive plants STILL being planted out as cover for game birds during their review, to my knowledge they’ve never mentioned them publicly. Sorry for banging on about these issues every chance I get, but I think they need to be at the forefront and they’re usually invisible.

  13. 22 Oliver Craig
    November 5, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    We all know the shooting industry and that is what it is an industry has caused utter havoc in the natural world.

  14. 23 Jo walton
    November 5, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    Total disgrace…its about time that this cruel slaughter was brought to book…not only the cruel killing of the birds but also the fact that they are just dumped to rot…its bad enough all the poor birds run over on the roads…and its not just individual birds.sometimes there are groups …killed…and injured…just left to suffer and die….

  15. 24 Annette Allison
    November 6, 2019 at 1:09 am

    Barbaric and needs to be stopped. The links between animal cruelty and abuse of humans is well established and whoever is responsible needs urgent psychiatric help.

    • 25 TaddyOfKentoo
      November 6, 2019 at 12:06 pm

      Annette, Totally agree! Fact.. ‘In psychology, a lack of empathy for animals & humans is indicative of a psychopath’ Depicts many within the shooting/hunting fraternity, their masters, moorons, keepers, terrier men, to mention a few whom are possessed!
      They display no remorse, have no compassion, in their continual pursuit for the slaughter/killing of wildlife often on mass concluding with a smile ‘Whisky Tot’ & joy of achievement. Truly sick bas..rds!!

  16. 26 Michele archbold
    November 6, 2019 at 9:10 pm


  17. 27 Brian Matthews
    November 7, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    The RSPB took a landowner to court over the killing of birds of prey . The landowner was fined sixty thousand pounds of his EU subsidy . I wonder how much of this subsidy was given to the upkeep of his grousemoor . More to the point , I wonder what his EU subsidy was .

  18. 28 sog
    November 13, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    In the news recently, Tick Bourne Encephalitis has been found in the uk –


    Deer have been tested for antibodies, levels are (about) 50% in Norfolk, 10% in England generally, 8% in Northern Scotland. Details are in the PR above. One assumes it’s now well established in Norfolk, and spreading.

    Wiki says TBE infects birds. If chicks of pheasants and other game birds are imported, could this be one route of introduction?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Blog Stats

  • 6,005,994 hits


Our recent blog visitors