DISPELLING the notion once and for all that ‘game’ meat has abundant health benefits, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has recently issued a health warning for meat containing lead shot.
People who eat birds killed with lead shot – such as pheasant and partridge – are at risk if they eat more than 100g (3.5oz) per week.
Pregnant women and children are especially at risk, says the FSA, because ‘exposure to lead can harm the developing brain and nervous system’.
And if that isn’t enough to put you off, readers may wish to visit Animal Aid’s website, which contains undercover footage of industrial units that mass-produce and intensively farm pheasants and partridges, who are destined to become mere feathered targets for shooters.
Only a minority of the released birds are shot, retrieved and eaten – most perish beforehand.
Add to this, the so-called pest and predator ‘control’ programmes that exterminate animals deemed to be a threat to the shooting industry, and you come to realise that shooting birds for pleasure is an activity that leaves rather a sour taste in the mouth.
If readers would like more information on a compassionate lifestyle, visit www.animalaid.org.uk