1. ITV Report

Entire family of swans wiped out in shotgun attack in Kent

The swans were peppered with shotgun pellets Photo: Kent Police

An entire family of swans in Kent have been wiped out after the birds - both parents and all five of their cygnets - were shot and killed in a ‘senseless’ attack.

The RSPCA is appealing for information after the bodies of the birds were discovered wrapped in plastic bags and thrown down the bank of a stream in Stepneyford Lane, Benenden.

Officers from the rural policing team at Kent Police responded to calls about the birds and collected the bodies from the location on Sunday 25 November.

The birds' bodies were found near a stream on Stepneyford Lane Credit: Google Images

“It’s clear that these poor mute swans have been shot and killed deliberately - one of the birds was peppered with pellets.

“It’s absolutely disgusting that someone would purposefully target and kill these beautiful birds, and it’s heartbreaking that an entire family has been wiped out in this cruel incident.”

– RSPCA Inspector Dave Grant
The body of one of the birds peppered with shotgun pellets Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA is calling for better regulations after receiving 884 calls reporting attacks on animals across England and Wales in 2017. The animal welfare charity wants to see stricter controls.

The pellets are clearly visible along the swan's neck Credit: RSPCA

Last year, there were 51 calls from Kent about attacks - the second highest figure in the country - and officers find wild birds, wild animals and cats are the most likely to be injured by these weapons.

Anyone with any information about what has happened to these birds, is being urged to contact the appeal line on 0300 123 8018.