400 young pheasants have been killed by a fox after the padlocks to the door of a pheasant pen were tampered with and forced open at a family-run syndicate shoot in Sussex.
The shocking incident is believed to have taken place sometime between the evening of Saturday 26th June and the morning of 27th June. A keeper made the grim discovery at around 7am.
James Robinson, who has managed the Hundred Acre Shoot for 27 years, told the Alliance he had only experienced one other incident of involving tampered pens before and that the local community is generally very understanding of the sport which has taken place for centuries on a number of farms in the parish.
Posting on the Wivelsfield (Sussex) Life Facebook page, Mr. Robinson claimed: ‘a member of our community has shown a complete lack of respect, understanding and tolerance for people with different views to their own.’
He went on: ‘Yesterday the gates to one of our pheasant pens were tampered with and forced open resulting in the death of 400 young pheasants. The cost (£1600) is not the issue, but it deeply saddens me that we can’t all live next to each other and rub along happily together.’
‘We only shoot 25% of the birds we release and all of these make their way to the table.’
In a plea, Mr. Robinson added: ‘If any of you have any information please get in touch so that we can ensure those responsible are brought before the law.’
According to the post, trail cameras have been deployed for extra security. Photos accompanying the post show a mountain of dead pheasants piled up on the back of a trailer.
Tim Bonner, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance said the person (s) responsible should face the ‘full force of the law.’
He said: ‘It is not uncommon for some people, who believe they are saving these animals, to tamper with pheasant pens. Doing so is incredibly foolish and seriously compromises the pheasants’ welfare as chicks are left without adequate food and shelter.’
'Sadly, in this case, it has led to the deaths of 400 pheasant chicks and distress to the owner. The ill-informed culprit (s) should be ashamed of themselves and face the full force of the law.’
Anyone with any information is asked to contact James via email: firstname.lastname@example.org