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13 animals in Bucks shot with airguns in one year

13 animals in Bucks shot with airguns in one year

Published by Dan Gooding at 8:01am 21st July 2019.

Pet cats and pigeons are the main victims when it comes to airgun shootings - with 13 animals hit in Buckinghamshire last year.

The RSPCA is calling for tougher controls over the devices, as often animals end up dying for their wounds.

The five counties recording the most incidents3 for animals being shot by air guns last year were:

  • Greater London (38)
  • Greater Manchester (36)
  • Kent (35)
  • West Midlands (33)
  • South Yorkshire (28)
air gun cat amputated

The RSPCA is repeating its call now as incidents rise during summer months, when there are more daylight hours.

As well as mandatory licencing, the RSPCA is calling for a range of measures to tackle the problem of air guns

Dermot Murphy, RSPCA Chief Inspectorate Officer said:

"During last year alone, we received 767 reports of attacks where air guns were used on animals across England and Wales. Animals are suffering horrendous injuries and often dying as a result of airgun attacks and these weapons are also potentially extremely dangerous for people.

"Every one of the 258 pet cats and 73 dogs deliberately killed or maimed last year by people using air guns represents a devastated family. And the cruelty continues, with large numbers of wild mammals and birds, including foxes, squirrels, swans, gulls and pigeons targeted as well.

"We believe air gun misuse is happening on a large scale and what we see at the RSPCA could be the tip of the iceberg. We believe that stricter controls are long overdue. Mandatory licensing would be an effective start, but we also need improved enforcement of airgun legislation as well as better, more targeted education and explanation of the law for those buying one."

air gun gull xray IMG_3221
An X-Ray of a gull with an air gun pellet inside

Nearly half of vets who replied to a British Veterinary Association survey in 2016 said they had treated cats which had been victims of airgun crime and nearly half those incidents had proved fatal.

A Government review into the use of airguns after the death of a boy concluded 18 months ago but has yet to report its conclusions and recommendations.

A significant proportion of the 50,000 public responses to the government's air weapons review were about the use of these weapons against animals such as cats.

Dermot continued:

"We are disappointed that 18 months after it concluded the Government have still yet to say how they will improve the management and use of airguns despite evidence given to them on the suffering caused to animals through their misuse.

"Animals continue to be maimed and killed every year so the RSPCA is calling on the Government to bring in tighter restrictions such as licensing, which we know in Scotland worked, resulting in a 75% drop in animal related complaints in its first year."

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