Shooting captive bred animals
In a letter to VGT, the regional government of Vorarlberg has stated that as from the beginning of 2017 all shooting of captive bred pheasants, partidges and mallard ducks will become prohibited. Along with Vienna, this makes Vorarlberg the second of the nine Austrian provinces to ban this form of hunting.
VGT started the campaign to ban canned hunting in summer 2015. This particular kind of hunting involves purposely breeding animals to then release and shoot them.
In Austria, the animals breed for canned hunting are typically pheasants, partridges wild boar, deer and mallard ducks. These animals are reared in intensive conditions and just as in factory farming, their bodies are routinely mutilated in order to reduce injuries when they become aggressive to each other through boredom or frustration. They are released before they reach maturity and generally they are tame or at least used to humans. Confused and inexperienced they are scared into running or taking flight by beaters, people with sticks yelling and stomping through the undergrowth. This is when the hobby hunters, often prominent public figures and people who pay large sums of money to take part, can take their aim. Large numbers of animals are not killed outright and none of them are used for food.
Initially VGT contacted all regional governments for a response to this practice. This was followed up by a survey carried out by the IFES Institute which found that up to three quarters of the Austrian population would like to see canned hunting banned.
Continuing documentation of canned hunting results in an almost continuous stream of charges brought by VGT against individual hunters for animal cruelty and pollution to the environment.
Regular media events ensure that this issue stays in the news and we are often asked to take part in TV and radio debates. The campaign aim is to reform the law around hunting to include animal welfare and to ban canned hunting. A major step in this direction has been our negotiations with the Lainzer Tiergarten, Vienna’s largest park. Together we have drawn up an agreement which outlines how the park will move away from hunting bred animals and towards a programme of wildlife management which has animal welfare at its core.
Official campaign video (German)