This week in the taxidermy workshop, I waved goodbye to this magnificent magpie!

It’s not very often I get to work with species of the corvid family, due to my personal ethics surrounding my taxidermy practice. This beautiful specimen was the result of a window strike, which is very rare for these clever birds. I suspect he may have been pursued by a Sparrowhawk and met his untimely end in a panicked dash for survival!

A lot of corvids (taxonomic group name of birds in the crow family) among other birds on the general licence GL42 such as carrion crows, magpies, rooks and jackdaws are subject to unnecessary culling to protect the unnatural population of pheasants and other game birds. Around 60 million game birds are released in to the UK countryside each year, for the sole purpose of being shot for leisure. That number sits on top of the already existing population of game birds that have managed to make a life for themselves in the wild.

If that wasn’t bad enough, millions more of our native, beloved British wildlife is needlessly killed to support this cruel industry, as it’s seen as a ‘threat’ to the already oversaturated population of game birds.

Thanks to the continued efforts of wildlife campaign group Wild Justice, a beacon of hope in this bleak circumstance, maybe there will be some progress made in the near future to make wildlife protection laws more fair, because slaughtering lots of native wildlife for the benefit of non-native wildlife that’s going to be shot for fun anyway, just doesn’t make any sense to me – and I don’t want to be any part of it

Read more about the ongoing saga in this very concise article by Wild Justice here, doing their best at making order out of chaos with a fantastic tongue in cheek illustration, featuring ‘Schrodinger’s pheasant’.