New League Against Cruel Sport Report

Graphic footage of foxes struggling in drag snares, believed to be the first of its kind and a mass death pit of rotting carcasses on an estate with links to the royal family, are just some of the gruesome finds revealed in a damning expose into predator control practices in the UK.

A League Against Cruel Sports investigation examines the mass slaughter of wildlife happening up and down the country, much of which is illegal or in breach of guidelines designed to prevent unnecessary cruelty and suffering.

War on Wildlife published today names and shames sporting estates, including some of the country’s most prestigious, which are systematically wiping out wildlife at an unprecedented rate for the financial gain which can be generated from commercial shooting.

Throughout last year, League investigators visited a number of estates – some already well known offenders, others as a result of information from the public – all waging war on wildlife. On land near to Harewood House, home to the Queen’s cousin the Earl of Harewood, investigators found evidence showing the shocking extent of wildlife persecution including a ‘death pit’ with in excess of 100 rotting animal carcasses including foxes, squirrels and rabbits among others presumably being used as bait for nearby traps. In Nottinghamshire graphic footage was obtained showing two foxes struggling desperately to escape from snares set on drag poles – a practice which goes against the industry’s code of best practice.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg with a catalogue of grim discoveries being made, including rotting animal carcasses dumped as bait, snares set of dragpoles over water courses, and dead birds strung up on ‘gibbet lines’.

The League’s shooting campaigner Katy Roberts said, “It is quite positively sickening what we have uncovered over the course of our investigations. Wildlife is being systematically wiped out in a brutal fashion to protect game birds being reared for commercial shooting and ultimately line the pockets of the estate owners. Mass slaughter on this scale is simply not acceptable.”

Parliamentary and political officer Joshua Kaile added, “The UK Government must address the problems associated with commercial shooting as a matter of urgency and we will be stepping up our political campaigning for a ban on snares in England and Wales to ensure this outdated practice is resigned to the history books once and for all.”