Victory: After ALF visit, farmers say they are out of the pheasant business

Peter Young
Animal Liberation Frontline

2013_PHEASANTLast week, the Animal Liberation Front took credit for releasing dozens of pheasants from the Ash Grove Pheasant Farm in Riverside California. Now the owners have announced they are out of the pheasant-breeding business altogether.

Co-owner Theresa Fitzgerald told the media this week that she will keep any recaptured birds as “pets”, but will no longer sell pheasants. While the information is unconfirmed, it would appear the ALF effectively shut down the Ash Grove Pheasant Farm.

The importance of fact-checking

It is not uncommon for animal businesses to feed disinformation to the public to avoid being a target. There have been confirmed cases of this, such as fur farms making false claims of closure to remove themselves from the public’s radar, and animal researchers announcing the end to protocols that in fact continue using less “cute” animals (e.g. replacing dogs with pigs).

There are only two ways to confirm with a high-degree of likelihood that this farm is in fact out of the pheasant-breeding business:

  • An unannounced, on-site visit to the farm
  • The farm being removed from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife “Game Breeder” list. (The owners believe the Animal Liberation Front obtained their address from this list.)

As to the former, this kind of visit will likely only happen if the ALF returns, or other anonymous individuals visit the farm covertly for data-gathering purposes.

And the latter will only be verified when the state of California releases its 2014 list next year.

A (tentative) victory

As for now, it appears the ALF shut down the Ash Grove Pheasant Farm.