BASC statement on game bird release numbers

Cock and hen pheasant in fieldBASC has researched the numbers of gamebirds released each year and found that the most reliable estimate is around 34.9 million birds.

A figure of 50 million has been widely used but this appears to be based on unreliable extrapolations..

Using the best available information such as the government’s poultry register, veterinary information, feed sales and industry sources, BASC found a more reliable estimate to be 34.9 million. Around 80% of this total are pheasants and 20% red-legged partridges.

The Code of Good Shooting Practice sets out best practice on the release of game birds.

The management of hedges, fields and woodland for gamebirds benefits threatened species such as dormouse, yellowhammer and grey partridge.

The Value of Shooting Report (2014) found that 97% of edible species shot are destined for the food chain.