Airgun attacks reported to RSPCA rise in Wiltshire

air gun (Pixabay)

5:45am 12th October 2017

There's been a big rise in air gun incidents involving animals in Wiltshire.

There have been 13 so far this year compared to just 3 in the whole of 2016.

In May, a pregnant cat died after being shot with an air rifle on Bemerton Heath in Salisbury whilst another cat suffered horrific injuries in an incident near Victoria Park in August.

You can read more on those stories here www.spirefm.co.uk and at www.spirefm.co.uk

The stats released by the RSPCA show in the last four and half years there were 47 incidents reported to the charity in Wiltshire and 113 in Hampshire.

In England between 1st January 2012 and 30th June there were 4,828 cases with wild birds and cats by far the greatest targets.

The animal welfare charity has welcomed the government's announcement it's to review air gun licensing

That review is in reponse to a coroner after a 13 year old boy from Suffold died last May after being accidentally shot whilst playing with friends.

It will focus on whether the controls are still "appropriate and effective".

The RSPCA says it hopes any future regulations will better protect people, children and animals.

David Bowles from the charity wants to see change:

"The RSPCA has long been calling for stricter regulations around owning airguns as well as better education and explanation of the law for those buying an airgun. Our 24-hour cruelty hotline receives hundreds of calls every year reporting airgun attacks on animals. Last year, we received 890 calls and this year looks set to top that and, worryingly, reach a five-year high.

"Animals can suffer horrendous injuries and often die as a result of airgun attacks and these weapons are potentially extremely dangerous for people as well."

24 HOUR CRUELTY LINE:

You can call the charity on 0300 1234 999 to report cruelty or an animal in distress. The call will cost the same as any call to a UK landline number.

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