appeal after seagulls are killed in airgun attacks in Highbridge
RSPCA inspector fears more animals could be at risk after a spate
of incidents in Highbridge where seagulls have been fatally injured
by someone shooting at them with an air rifle.
Inspector Hayley Lawrence has been called to the industrial estate
in Commerce Way, Highbridge three times this month after concerns
were raised by local residents when they found gulls that had been
injured by shotgun pellets.
The first gull was found with injuries caused by air gun pellets
on 3rd June before a second gull was found with its wing partially
torn off and bleeding because of injuries called by an air rifle
on 5th June.
A third gull was discovered with a broken wing and leg injuries
near the same industrial estate in Commerce Way on 12th June. Sadly
all three gulls had to be put down because of the severity of their
The RSPCA is now appealing for anyone with information about the
person responsible for the attacks to contact the animal welfare
charity after fears were raised that more animals could be targeted.
Lawrence told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Unfortunately, we regularly
have to deal with injured or dead animals which have been shot by
people using air rifles. The injuries caused by such attacks are
horrific and often fatal. Cats and wildlife, particularly birds,
are normally the animals that are more susceptible to these incidents
simply because they are out in the open with no one to protect them."
"It is very distressing to think that people take pleasure
in causing such horrific injuries to defenseless animals. People
need to remember the devastating consequences that shooting at animals
with air guns can have."
"We are supporting Cats Protections call for tighter
controls on air weapons. This, along with better education and explanation
of the law when buying an air gun, and requirements that everyone
must receive basic safety training before being allowed to walk
out of the shop could help relieve the problem."
"We would also like to remind people that all wild birds are
in England and Wales are protected and anyone shooting birds without
a licence could face up to six months in prison and/or a fine of
up to £5,000 if found guilty under the Wildlife and Countryside
The RSPCA says it receives hundreds of reports of gun attacks on
animals every year and, in 2016, the charitys 24-hour cruelty
line had 890 calls relating to these types of attacks.
Anyone with information on the airgun attacks is asked to contact
the RSPCA on the inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.