“Animal welfare groups have criticised Madonna for importing 1,000 baby pheasants from France for the shooting season.
The young birds have joined another 31,000 brought to the star’s 1,200-acre estate from Wales to mature before being hunted.
The Ashcombe House estate on the Wiltshire-Dorset border, where Madonna lives with husband Guy Ritchie, is reportedly seen as one of the UK’s top sites for game shooting.
The pair themselves are thought to have given up shooting, but they still welcome businessmen and friends including Brad Pitt and Vinnie Jones to enjoy the sport on their grounds.
Campaigners say the pheasants would have lived in poor conditions before being shipped to the UK. “Shame on Madonna. She thinks that when she puts on her plus fours she is part of the landed gentry,” commented Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid. “But this is not in harmony with nature. It is the production of factory birds to provide a live shooting gallery.”
A spokeswoman for the singer promised she would not import chicks in the future.“Both Madonna and Guy have stopped shooting,” she said. “We can confirm that the estate got 1,000 birds from France as an experiment this year but we wonâ€™t be doing it again.”
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