Partridges and Pheasants: Animal Breeding

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 17th September 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Green

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to regulate the conditions in which pheasants and red-legged partridges are reared before being released as gamebirds.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We are committed to maintaining our position as world leaders in animal welfare and want to improve and build upon that record, working in partnership with farmers to support healthier, higher welfare animals. We are exploring options with all the industry sectors, including the gamebird industry, to see how welfare standards can be further enhanced and in a way that is sustainable.

The welfare of gamebirds is currently protected by the Animal Welfare Act 2006 which makes it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering. This is backed up by the statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Gamebirds Reared for Sporting Purposes, which encourages the adoption of high standards of husbandry.

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