Animal Aid’s investigators found pheasants in poor condition. Many suffered feather loss, some were fitted with beak shrouds, and some of the females had dressings covering their wounded backs. (It is likely they were hurt during mating. In the wild, they could evade any males they did not wish to mate with.) We found highly-stressed partridges inside barren cages leaping at the roofs repeatedly, even when no one was present to startle them. Dead partridges lay in the egg tray, and one was there for at least six days, even though the Code of Practice says the birds should be checked twice daily. Ducks were kept in an overgrown pen and a crow was held in a Larsen trap without water in breach of the General Licence.
We filmed cows grazing on a pile or litter that contained dead infant birds, despite Animal By-Products regulations stating that: ‘It is an offence to feed to any ruminant animal, pig or bird any other animal by-product (unless it has been processed in accordance with the Community Regulation).’
Action: On 16 June, Animal Aid reported the crow in the Larsen trap to the RSPCA, Warwickshire Wildlife police and APHA. On 25 July, we reported our findings on the barren cages to APHA, Warwickshire Trading Standards, Defra Minister Lord Gardiner and the RSPCA. Despite countless Freedom of Information Act requests and legal challenges to both Warwickshire Trading Standards and APHA all we know is that Warwickshire Trading Standards and APHA visited the farm. They will not reveal what they inspected, what they found or what action – if any – was taken. Our request for information is now with the Information Commissioner’s Office.