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hunterpicture-fur-pm-3Last Sunday, Stefan Bernhard Eck MEP together with one of his assistants accompanied a group of animal rights activists from „VGT Austria“ (Verein gegen Tierfabriken Österreich) to document and film a large-scale ‘game’ bird shooting near Gattendorf, in the Burgenland, the easternmost state of Austria.

Pheasants and partridges are used for this dubious sport which raises major animal welfare concerns as the birds are mass-produced in hatcheries, cages, sheds and pens before they are released in the wild, during shooting days. As living feathered targets they are scared into the sky to become an easy shot for hunters.

The Verein gegen Tierfabriken Österreich campaigns against these practices and therefore the presence of the animal welfare activists who witnessed and filmed the shooting caused a violent uproar among the hunters who tried to stop them from taking footage. A lady who was taking pictures was heavily beaten and had to be hospitalised with haematomas. Another activist got his camera damaged.

Stefan Eck said „What I have experienced last weekend in Austria is absolutely shocking. This is an example of how democratic rights are trampled,  how peaceful animal welfare activists are offended, beaten and attacked. ‘Game’ bird shooting, is unacceptable on welfare grounds  and should be banned as soon as possible. The aggressiveness of the hunters against the animal rights activists is worrying. I strongly condemn the violence of the hunters. The fact that the animal activists continue to dauntlessly denounce this hunt deserves high respect”.

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