EARLY DAY MOTION 402 - USE FOR CAGES TO REAR BIRDS FOR SHOOTING

I have signed Early Day Motion 402 on the use of cages to rear birds for shooting. 

That this House notes with concern that every year some 50 million pheasants and partridges are mass-produced to be shot for so-called sport and that a large number of the breeding birds are confined for the whole of their productive lives in unnatural, unpleasant, crowded metal battery units, known in industry circles as raised laying cages; further notes that these units cause the birds to suffer high levels of injury and premature death; also notes that some operators are still using barren cages, contrary to the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Gamebirds; observes that many of the birds are fitted with restrictive face masks in an attempt to limit the damage resulting from stressed birds attacking one another; further observes that the law and tax regime classify the game bird industry primarily as sport rather than a means of food production; agrees with shooting industry spokespeople who have said in the past that cages not only represent a major welfare problem but are harmful to the reputation of shooting; notes that leading welfare groups include Animal Aid, Compassion in World Farming, the League Against Cruel Sports and the RSPCA call for an end to the use of these cages; notes that a recent YouGov poll found that 77 per cent of respondents opposed the use of cages; and calls on the Government to introduce a ban on raised laying cages for breeding pheasants and partridges.

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