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Surrey and Hampshire animals at risk of airgun attacks

Surrey and Hampshire animals at risk of airgun attacks

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 9:00am 19th July 2019. (Updated at 8:13am 21st July 2019)

Surrey and Hampshire accounted for a third of attacks on animals using airguns in South East England.

Figures from the RSPCA show 767 airgun attacks on animals were reported to the charity in 2018 across England and Wales.

Cats, pigeons and dogs were most likely to be shot according to the data.

A British Veterinary Association survey also demonstrated that nearly half of all airgun attacks are fatal.

The figures have been released as the RSPCA calls for the government to tighten air gun controls.

Dermot Murphy, RSPCA Chief Inspectorate Officer said:

"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.

"And the cruelty continues, with large numbers of wild mammals and birds, including foxes, squirrels, swans, gulls and pigeons targeted as well."

A government review into the use of airguns was convened after the death of a boy.

It concluded 18 months ago, but has yet to issue a report or recommendations.

The RSPCA said they were disappointed the government has yet to take action on airguns.

Mr Murphy added:

"Animals continue to be maimed and killed every year so the RSPCA is calling on the Government to bring in tighter restrictions such as licensing, which we know in Scotland worked, resulting in a 75% drop in animal related complaints in its first year.”

A total of 126 airgun attacks were reported to the RSPCA in South East England in 2018. Broken down by county:

  • Kent - 35
  • Surrey - 21
  • Hampshire - 18
  • Buckinghamshire - 13
  • East Sussex - 13
  • West Sussex - 10
  • Berkshire - 9
  • Oxfordshire - 6
  • Isle of Wight - 1

The animals most attacked by airguns in 2018 across England and Wales were:

  • Domestic cat - 258
  • Pigeon (rock/feral)- 112
  • Domestic dog - 73
  • Gull - 62
  • Fox - 28