Gamekeepers and shoots are being urged by BASC to be extra vigilant following the recent theft of 1600 pheasant poults in Lancashire.
The five week old birds were taken from Meoles Hall near Churchtown, Southport and the theft is being investigated by Lancashire police.
Over the last five years BASC’s gamekeeping team has seen a steady rise in the numbers of thefts involving poults.
BASC’s head of gamekeeping and game shooting, Stewart Scull, said: “Traditionally thefts of gamebirds have taken place during the shooting season, but in recent years that has all changed. Now there appears to be more thefts from rearing sheds and release pens, and this latest theft serves as a stark warning. BASC would urge all keepers and shoots to be alert to the potential theft or poaching of their birds, as well as the possibility of vandalism to equipment. The increase in gamebird thefts appears to be down to economics, and the rising cost of rearing.”
BASC is advising shoots, keepers and the restaurant trade to be on the look out for these birds which they may be offered for sale, and urges anyone with information to contact the police.