On the 4th, 5th and 6th of December, Hy Fly Game Hatcheries in Lancashire hosted the International Gundog League Retriever Championship and a small group of hunt saboteurs headed to the area to gather valuable information and formulate a plan about how best to sabotage next year’s championships.

Hy Fly is a vast game farm that intensively rears pheasants, partridges and ducks in appalling conditions to be sold on to shoots all across the UK. Birds used for breeding are confined to barren wire cages and their offspring are artificially incubated on site. Hy Fly even boasts of producing up to 1.5 million pheasants, partridges and mallards per week. In January this year, the farm was close to bankruptcy after bird flu was found on the site and a staggering 10,000 birds were subsequently culled.

The shooters, dog trainers and spectators met at Moss Cottage, not far from Poulton-Le-Fylde, before walking to the surrounding fields to kill pheasants and partridges who had previously been released into the area from the endless rows of pens at Hy Fly. The event attracts some high profile people, for example this year's championship was won by a dog owned by serial animal abuser and fox hunt master, the Duke of Buccleuch (who is also the largest private landowner in Europe). The Queen has also awarded prizes at the IGL in past years.

The International Gundog League has recently come to the attention of the HSA as part of our ongoing campaign against the shooting industry. It is sickening that large numbers of factory farmed birds are gunned down simply for dog trainers to win themselves medals. The organisers of next year's event should certainly expect mass sabotage.