I want you to help us bring down the bird shooting industry

If you find yourself reading this, it’s likely you’re anti fox hunting.

Maybe you’ve watched our ‘Trail of Lies’ animation or came across one of our undercover investigations. Or perhaps you signed one of our online petitions or donated to a crowd funder. However, what’s less likely is your position on bird shooting and whether you see yourself as being part of the movement to end it.

Notice I didn’t say ‘game bird shooting’ there. And that’s entirely deliberate. But rewind a year ago and I probably would have used this phrase.

You see since 2015 and joining the movement to end hunting, the shooting of birds wasn’t something I really paid much attention to. And to be honest there was probably a degree of speciesism at play. I was and still am entirely obsessed with ending hunting and everything that it stands for. The demonisation of another species. The needless and senseless killing. The thrill of the chase and the enjoyment of taking the life of an animal in a twisted notion of ‘sport’. But the shooting industry had never come into my thinking and remained very much on the periphery.

Perhaps this industry seemed insurmountable to dismantle. Perhaps the victims were less cute and cuddly. Perhaps I hadn’t taken the time to consider the real impact of shooting to animals and the environment.

But in recent times my thinking has shifted. It was speaking to Charlie Moores, a lifelong birder and anti-shoot campaigner, that my eyes were opened to this vile industry. And the parallels to hunting became so clear to see. The demonisation of another species. The needless and senseless killing. The thrill of the shoot and taking the life of an animal in a truly twisted notion of ‘sport’. It became evident that if you’re anti hunt in principle then you’re already anti shoot.

This isn’t to say I got the issue overnight or that I am now an expert on all there is to know about the shooting industry. But through a series of conversations, I started to understand the importance of why we should be working to end shooting in the UK.

But why now? We haven’t ended hunting yet so why are we talking about ending shooting?

Because now is the best time there has ever been to take on this industry.

  • Hunting is on its knees. I firmly believe that in less than three years it will almost cease to exist in its current form in England, Scotland and Wales
  • Once hunting comes to an end, we have a responsibility to harness the community we have built to bring down all forms of wildlife persecution and protect the wild
  • The shooting industry has been left unchallenged for too long and it is about time a fresh approach is taken to expose the realities of this vile pastime
  • Literally millions of birds are being blasted out of the sky for ‘fun’, this is an abomination and something that shouldn’t be happening in 2023
  • The number of mammals killed by gamekeepers to ‘protect’ the birds that are then released to be shot far outnumber those killed by fox hunts
  • We could lose iconic birds of prey as British breeding species
  • Large parts of our uplands are being burned, causing serious environmental impact, increasing the risk of flooding and emitting high levels of carbon into the atmosphere

The list of reasons to end shooting in the UK is endless when you start looking.

Unlike fox hunting though the issue of bird shooting and the industry itself has a lot more to get your head around. In fact, as shown on our website, there are 21 birds that are targeted and killed as a result of the shooting industry.

And that’s why I don’t expect people reading this to grasp everything overnight because I didn’t either. In fact, I am still learning more about shooting every day and my drive to end it only gets stronger over time.

But what I do hope is that like myself you can begin to understand the need to end shooting. And that’s why over the next few months, we will slowly but surely introduce more campaigns around ending this industry. From animations to undercover investigations. From pressure campaigns to lobbying for new legislation.

We will not stand for any animal being killed for human ‘entertainment’ because this isn’t the world we want to live in.

So, the question is will you join us in our fight to end hunting and shooting and create the compassionate world we want to see for wildlife?