Protection for game chicks

LEGISLATION currently going through Parliament could improve the lot of many thousands of game bird chicks which are reared in cages and boxes.

A code of practice due to come into force in October specifies a minimum amount of space for these birds and the enrichment of their environment.

Some animal welfare campaigners had been calling for the phasing out of cages and boxes and this had led to claims by the multi-million pound game bird industry that it could not survive.

Christopher Graffius, spokesman for the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), claimed the minimum space requirement was already observed by most game farms.

“The issue of cages has been controversial. BASC welcomes the fact that the worst fears of some – such as an end to all partridge production and the potential end of all game shooting in the UK – will not be realised.

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“We hope that all shooting interests will continue to co-operate to ensure the highest standards within shooting and game rearing,” he said.

Efficiency the key

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A NEW report by the independent think tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), says that a radical drive to increase energy efficiency in UK homes is the best way to solve long term fuel poverty.

As fuel bills start arriving at people’s homes covering the coldest winter in living memory, the report The Long Cold Winter: Beating Fuel Poverty, suggests the Government’s current fuel poverty strategy is now out of date.

It claims that despite government targets to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016, the problem has been increasing in the last five years and argues that while short term measures are needed to help the poorest pay for their heating during the cold snap, a radical longer term strategy is needed – focusing on fuel efficiency.

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