A bird flu outbreak in France and post-Brexit restrictions have combined to create a perfect storm for game shoots, causing up to a third to close this year.
Those preparing to start the grouse season on the Glorious Twelfth next week are reporting an abundance of wild game. But some partridge and pheasant shoots which rely on imported French birds are facing disaster.
Country pubs, hotels, caterers and shops that rely on shooting parties for their winter trade are facing an uncertain future. About half the 57 million red-legged partridges and pheasants reared and released each year in the UK for seasons which begin on September 1 and October 1 come from eggs imported from French game farms in the Loire region.
Mark Ewart, Peter O’ Driscoll and Pam Butler had a good season last year but bird flu in France and post-Brexit restrictions are crippling this year’s season
A crippling outbreak