West Midlands worst area in country for horror air gun attacks on animals - The Solihull Observer

West Midlands worst area in country for horror air gun attacks on animals

Solihull Editorial 31st Jan, 2018   0

THE RSPCA has called for tougher controls after it received 54 reports of air gun attacks on animals in the West Midlands last year.

This means the region is the worst in the country according to the charity with Kent just behind with 51 calls and London with 49 calls.

Over the past five years the animal charity has received 4,500 reports nationwide.

Now it wants England and Wales to follow the lead of Scotland, where air gun owners and users have been required to have a licence since January 1 last year.




In total the RSPCA took 884 calls about air gun attacks on animals in 2017 across England and Wales.

The victims included hundreds of wild birds, cats, dogs, and wild mammals.


It has led the RSPCA to call for the mandatory licensing of airguns.

The Home Office announced it would review the law following the death of 13-year-old Benjamin Wragge, from Suffolk, in May 2016 when he was accidentally shot with an air rifle.

David Bowles, RSPCA assistant director of external affairs, said: “The review around the regulation of air weapons is welcomed by the RSPCA and we hope our submission to the Government will help demonstrate the scale of calls to us every year and remind the Government it is important to protect animals as well as people.

“It is heartbreaking that such a tragic incident has sparked this review and our thoughts go out to Benjamin’s family and friends, but we hope that any future regulation of these weapons in England and Wales will better protect people and animals.

“The RSPCA has long been calling for stricter controls over airguns as well as better education and explanation of the law for those buying one.

“Our 24-hour cruelty hotline receives hundreds of calls every year reporting airgun attacks on animals.

“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.”

The penalties faced if caught deliberately using an airgun to injure an animal can be up to six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine if found guilty under the Animal Welfare Act.

Incidents in which an animal has been shot or targeted by someone using an airgun should be reported to the RSPCA’s national cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.

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