Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Essex among worst places in the country for airgun attacks on animals

Last year, the RSPCA received 890 calls to our 24-hour cruelty hotline reporting airgun attacks. Credit: RSPCA

Essex is one of the worst places in the country for airgun attacks on animals.

The RSPCA says almost 150 animals have been killed or suffered serious injuries in the last five years in the county.

A cat was found with serious injuries in Clacton-on-Sea after being shot with an airgun Credit: RSPCA

The number of calls to the RSPCA reporting airgun attacks on animals is set to reach a five-year high.

The charity is calling for stricter regulations around the use of airguns.

It is a depressing fact that every year hundreds of victims of airgun attacks are reported to the RSPCA. While wild animals are often victims, the most targeted animal is domestic cats that often suffer fatal or life-changing injuries.

We receive hundreds of calls from devastated cat owners every year after they discover their beloved pets have been shot. Often it isn’t until the x-rays reveal the pellets still lodged in the animal’s body that it becomes clear what they have been subjected to.

It is difficult to understand how anyone could carry out these mindless attacks on innocent animals and we are backing calls for stricter regulations around owning an airgun.

– Dermot Murphy, Assistant Director of the RSPCA Inspectorate
The most targeted animal is domestic cats Credit: RSPCA

The top 10 counties/areas across England by total airgun attack calls received between 2012 and June 2017:

  • 1. Greater London = 284
  • 2. West Midlands = 257
  • 3. Greater Manchester = 250
  • 4. Kent = 192
  • 5. South Yorkshire = 181
  • 6. West Yorkshire = 178
  • 7. Lancashire = 168
  • 8. Essex = 143
  • 8. Merseyside = 143
  • 10. Nottinghamshire = 140

The charity says July and Augustare typically some of the busiest months for RSPCA inspectors investigating incidents of animals shot by people using airguns.

People caught deliberately using an airgun to injure an animal couldsix months in prison and/or a £20,000 fine if found guilty under the Animal Welfare Act.

The charity is backing calls for stricter regulations around the use of airguns Credit: RSPCA