Petition Ban game bird cages

Millions of pheasants and partridges are estimated to be factory farmed in Wales each year so that they can be shot for ‘sport’. To breed them, tens of thousands of parent birds are confined to cages, often for much of their breeding lives. Cages are cruel and cause animals to suffer. The Welsh Government has previously indicated support for Wales to become a cage-free nation. We call for the Welsh Government to ban the use of cages to produce game birds.

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Life in a cage can lead to distress and injury, and doesn't fully allow for birds’ needs or natural behaviour. Their suffering can include painful open foot sores, stress-induced attacks and injury from repeated attempts to escape. To reduce problem behaviours linked to their captivity, such as pecking other birds, devices such as plastic bits forced into their nostrils can also be used.

Pheasants and partridges are semi-wild by nature, making the impact of cages all the greater. Yet they’re not even covered by the basic regulations granted to other farmed animals or routinely inspected. Investigations have revealed breaches of guidance such as repeated use of barren cages and dead pheasants left long enough in cages to be cannibalised. Even in cages described as ‘enriched’, there could be as little as a single shared perch, a plastic curtain and some astroturf.

Whether confined to barren or ‘enriched’ cages, game birds suffer. The Welsh Government has the power to end this practice.

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