All About Animals: The Issues (Ages 11-14): Shooting

Lots of people think rabbits, foxes and ducks are beautiful, wonderful creatures, but some people like to shoot them for fun or food. Other animals at risk from gunshot are squirrels, deer, pheasant, grouse and partridges. In the Netherlands, breeding birds to be shot is against the law, but in Britain some people breed birds such as pheasants and partridges just so other people can shoot them. To make sure there are plenty of birds to shoot, animals like stoats, weasels, badgers and cats, who might kill the baby birds before the shooters can, are sometimes shot, poisoned or trapped.

All these animals and birds are special and have unique personalities if you get to know them:

    • Ducks are highly inquisitive and can be very sociable. Two rescued ducks named Jake and Jasper like to look at themselves in mirrors and run to the phone every time it rings. In the morning, they greet the postman and walk to the front door with him. They love attention and choose to spend a lot of their time around people. They swim, explore the undergrowth and sit in the sunshine.

      In the wild, ducks fall into two groups: “divers” and “dabblers”. Diving ducks find their food beneath the water and have to dive down to find it. Dabbling ducks find their food on the surface of the water and “dabble” the surface with their beaks to find food.

    • Foxes live in many types of habitat, from inner cities to mountaintops. What they eat depends on where they live. Fox cubs are born blind and deaf in underground “earths”, but after four weeks, they are able to come out of the ground and start to explore their surroundings.
    • Rabbits are sociable animals who live underground in large groups. They dig their own warrens, which can be up to three metres deep. That’s a lot of digging! Anyone who has looked after rabbits knows that they are inquisitive, often cheeky and playful, and sometimes quite grumpy. Sound like anyone you know?! One rescued rabbit, named Manuel, had such bad teeth that he could only eat baby food. When he was hungry he would let his carer know by climbing into the cupboard and sitting next to the jars until she got the message! Intelligent, communicative and just a little bit cheeky!

You want more info? This is where to go:

Animal Aid
The Countryside Alliance

Talk About: Topics to Chat About!

    • 3. Is it OK to shoot animals if you are planning to eat them?
      2. Do you think animals think it’s fun to be shot? Why or why not?
      1. Do you think it’s cruel to shoot an animal? Why or why not?