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Air Gun Attacks On Animals In West Dorset


6:50am 8th May 2014

There's a warning out to pet owners after animals, including a family cat, were shot by with what's thought to be an air rifle in West Dorset.

One incident happened in Beaminster where a cat was wounded with a pellet gun on Sunday evening between 6:30pm and 10pm (4th May).

It follows reports of seagulls being shot with a similar weapon in North Allington in Bridport.

Mike Darby from Bridport Police says it's not illegal to own an air gun, but there are consequences if they're used recklessly;

"If you're starting to shoot at other people's houses and other people's pets then you're committing a criminal offense. You could quite easily hurt or injure someone quite severely, they're not toys! Also if you shoot someone's pet with them, you're not only committing criminal damage to that animal but committing a criminal offense as well."

It's an offence to be 17 or under and carrying an air gun without adult supervision and outside a controlled area.

Inspector Darby says someone spotted using this type of gun in public has serious implications;

"Most members of the public can't tell whether it's an air gun, a shotgun, or what it is, and the default position is we tend to get called and Police Officers will attend the scene and it's quite possible that even armed Police might be deployed to attend. Quite a lot of resources will be put in to it to make sure that person with a gun isn't a threat to the public."

Vet practice's in Bridport told us they hadn't had pets, injured in air gun attacks, come to them recently but they have had a number in the past.

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