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Factory bred quail chicks used as clay pigeons

This type of activity, known as 'Tirada de Cordoniz', takes place regularly in Spain but is extremely difficult to track down.

An undercover FAACE investigation can now expose the facts.

The crates of quail are taken to launcherThirty quail chicks crammed into crate

18 crates, each containing thirty quail chicks, left the broiler sheds of supplier and breeder Leopoldo Solsona. They were destined to be massacred in a 'Tirada de Cordoniz' taking place in a purpose built arena, in the countryside of the Province of Castellon, Spain.

This 'Tournament' was open to anyone prepared to pay 1,800 pesetas, 9.60 US dollars, to shoot at ten birds.

Spring loaded launcherQuail chick in barrel of launcher

The birds were stuffed alive into the barrel of an adapted clay pigeon launcher, and blasted into the air.

Some chicks were shattered as they left the spring-loaded launcher; those that managed to survive this, flailed helplessly in the sky, before being shot down by large calibre shotguns.

12 bore shotguns fire at the tiny chicks

These last seconds of their existence was the only time these quail had seen the sky.

Some tiny birds were still alive after this barrage and lay fluttering on the ground before eventually dying.

A few hopped fearfully through the bodies of their companions trying to escape. Their desperate attempts were frustrated by the netting around the area that allowed no exit or yet more shot ripping their fragile frames to shreds. These, escapees were the subjects of much laughter and joking.

The pace was non-stop. The arrival of each group of guns announced by the tooting of a toy rubber horn.

At the end of the massacre some few hundred bodies lay scattered like little grey stones across the killing arena. A prize giving was held, with plastic trophies plus pesetas awarded to the shooter with the highest tally of hits.

Dead and injured chicks gathered into plastic bags

Afterwards amidst the picking up of beer tins, and general tidying, the bodies were scooped up by various men and flung into boxes and carrier bags to be taken off and eaten.

Any poor little survivor hidden behind the bodies of its companions or tucked away in a corner was stamped on or flung into the bags to suffocate amongst the corpses.

When the various cars and trucks drove away the place was empty and as silent as death.


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