Water contamination concerns raised after video shows game bird carcasses being dumped in mineshaft

The incident is under investigation

Footage showing the carcasses of game birds being dumped into a disused mineshaft is being investigated by an environment watchdog amid fears the act could lead to water contamination.

The video, obtained by animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), shows dozens of birds being thrown aside on the Dyfi Falls estate in Wales on November 2 last year.

The LACS says there are “strong concerns” that the dead pheasants and partridges will contaminate water flowing into the nearby River Llyfnant and “potentially pose a risk to human life.”

The incident has been reported to Natural Resources Wales (NRW), who are now investigating, the group added.

The Dyfi Falls shooting estate is managed by Cambrian Birds, who say the individual involved was "severely reprimanded and no longer works for the company".

Someone appears to toss the birds from a vehicle.

The estate said in a statement: "All game shot on the shooting estates run by Cambrian Birds Limited is processed through a certified game dealer which then goes on for human consumption.

"Cambrian Birds allow their keepers to retain a certain number of birds for their personal consumption.

"We understand that in this instance the individual in question stripped the meat off the birds and thereafter disposed of the carcasses by throwing them into a disused mineshaft.

"Such a practice is contrary to the company rules and procedures. The individual in question was severely reprimanded and no longer works for the company."

Chris Luffingham, the LACS’ director of campaigns, said: “This scandalous incident shows a blatant disregard by the shooting industry for this environment.

“More than 61 million non-native pheasants and partridges are released into the British countryside every year only for them to be cruelly blasted out of the sky.

“That these birds are just being dumped shows there is no other reason for them to be shot other than for so-called ‘sport’.”

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) said it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation.

The birds were thrown into a disused mineshaft.

The group, however, did offer advice: “It is a requirement of the Code of Good Shooting Practice that; shoot managers must ensure they have appropriate arrangements in place for the sale or consumption of the anticipated bag in advance of all shoot days.

“There may be instances when some of the game taken on a shoot might be damaged and as such might only be ‘part processed’ or deemed not suitable for human consumption.

“In such instance such birds should be appropriately disposed of.”

NRW says it is aware of the incident and its investigation is ongoing.

Rachel Evans, a spokesperson for Countryside Alliance Wales said: “All birds that are shot should have a game processor/dealer ready and if they are unsuitable to go into the food chain they should be disposed of responsibly.”