The RSPCA is calling air gun controls after the animal charity received 761 reports of animals being shot in 2018, with 97 coming from the North West.
Records show that pet cats bore the brunt of the shootings, with 258 incidents in 2018, and pigeons coming second with 112 incidents.
Greater Manchester was part of the five counties across the UK, that recorded the most incidents for animals being shot by air guns last year.
As well as mandatory licencing, the charity wants a range of measures to tackle the problem of air guns.
They are repeating its call now as incidents rise during summer months.
Dermot Murphy, RSPCA Chief Inspectorate Officer said:
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. 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.