Game birds subject to 'cruel' conditions, undercover footage shows

As England’s pheasant egg imports double in three years, campaigners condemn lack of laws regulating rearing and breeding for shooting industry

Pheasants whose chicks are destined to be shot in the UK are having their septums pierced in order to attach plastic masks to their beaks, according to an undercover film released by activists this week. The method of restraint is illegal in the UK.

The video, shot on a farm in Poland, also appears to show the birds being fitted with “breeding aids” and confined in small boxes to repetitively mate. The farm exports ready-to-hatch eggs to the UK for eventual shooting. Animal rights campaigners renewed calls for an end to the “factory farming” of game birds.

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