12 animals shot in Dorset

12 animals shot in Dorset

Published by Justin Gladdis at 11:58am 18th July 2019. (Updated at 12:07pm 18th July 2019)

The RSPCA is calling for the licensing of air guns following these shocking new figures.

Shocking new figures have revealed 12 animals have been shot in Dorset over the last year.

The RSPCA is calling for the licencing of air guns, as new figures reveal that the animal charity received 7671 reports of animals shot in 2018 across England and Wales

Records also showed that pet cats bore the brunt of the shootings with 258 incidents in 2018 with pigeons coming second with 112 incidents.

Injured cat recovering at home
Injured cat recovering at home

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

Last month an injured Dorset gull made a miraculous recovery after what appeared to be a deliberate attack.

The bird was found skewered with a 28 inch arrow. X rays showed there was also an air gun pellet in the wounded herring gull.

X-ray shows extent of damage
X-ray shows extent of damage

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.

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.

This cat needed amputating
This cat needed an amputation

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."