The RSCPA are calling for licensing of air guns as new figures revealed they received 7,671 reports of animals being shot.

82 of these reports coming from Yorkshire & The Humber alone.

We believe air gun misuse is happening on a large scale and what we see at the RSPCA could be the tip of the iceberg.

RSPCA Chief Inspectorate Officer, Dermot Murphy

The RSPCA’s records also showed that pet cats bore the brunt of the shootings with 258 incidents in 2018 with pigeons coming second with 112 incidents.

South Yorkshire was in the top five for recorded incidents of animals being shot by air guns last year.

The RSPCA is repeating its call now as incidents rise during summer months, when there are more daylight hours.

As well as mandatory licensing, the RSPCA is calling for a range of measures to tackle the problem of air guns.

The RSCPA are calling for licensing of air guns Credit: RSPCA

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. We believe that stricter controls are long overdue. Mandatory licensing would be an effective start, but we also need improved enforcement of airgun legislation as well as better, more targeted education and explanation of the law for those buying one.

RSPCA Chief Inspectorate Officer, Dermot Murphy