Nottinghamshire owners of cat killed after being shot with airgun want more legislation for weapons

  • ITV News Central Correspondent Peter Bearne has been speaking with the owners of a cat who who shot twice with an airgun

A couple from Nottinghamshire whose cat died after being shot twice on separate occasions, are backing calls for tighter laws on the licensing of airguns to protect animals.

Mel and Jon Worthy's cat Abbie was first shot with an airgun in July last year.

An x-ray at the vets showed she had three airgun pellets inside her.

Abbie recovered after surgery, however in July she was found in her Newark garden in distress.

After another visit to the vets, an x-ray showed she had been attacked by an airgun for a second time, but didn't survive.

Mel describes the incident as "horrific" and says current legislation isn't giving animals like Abbie the protection they need.

Speaking to ITV News Central she said: "Just shock and disbelief.

"I just felt horrific and wishing I could’ve done more to protect her.

"When you know someone has deliberately targeted and perpetrated a crime on your animal and resulted in their death it’s really hard to get over."

Currently the law on airguns means a person can possess a low-powered air rifle without a licence.

Mel is backing calls by the charity Cats Protection to extend licensing to all air weapons.

A petition they've started has already attracted more than 115 thousand signatures.

Jade Emery, from the Cats Protection said: "We've already seen licensing introduced in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

"We collect all the media reports with cats being attacked by these weapons and we find that around 100 reports every year and 90per cent of these reports are from England and Wales.

"So we know for a fact introducing this licensing in Scotland and Northern Ireland has worked."

The Home Office says it keeps the UK's "tough firearms legislation under constant review".

It says "there are controls in place to prevent the misuse of air weapons" including new ones brought in last month to make it harder for children to gain unauthorised access to them.

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