“UK press reports show that three cats are killed or injured by air guns each week and this is likely to be an underestimate because most attacks are never witnessed or reported,” explains Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations. “Worse still, over 90% of these shootings take place in England and Wales where it is legal for anyone over 18 to purchase an air gun and ammunition without the need for a licence.”
Black-and-white moggy Jalapeno is just one of the unfortunate victims of these shocking air gun attacks, which caused him to tragically lose an eye as a result of his injuries.
|Jalapeno was tragically shot with an air gun, causing him to lose an eye|
“If licensing were introduced, we believe it would be easier to track down culprits who use these weapons to inflict harm on cats. We want to ensure that cats in England and Wales are fully protected. Those who have a legitimate reason to purchase, possess and use an air gun will be able to retain ownership and would simply need to apply for a licence.”
If you would like to encourage the Government to review the licensing of air guns in England and Wales, visit www.cats.org.uk/airgunsconsultation where you can adapt and send an email to the Home Office by 6 February 2018 when the public consultation closes. You can also watch our video showing some of the feline victims of air gun shootings below, though please bear in mind that people may find these images upsetting.
“Last year over 90,000 people signed an online and paper Cats Protection petition calling for the licensing of air guns in England and Wales, showing the depth of public feeling on the issue,” says Jacqui. “Our hope is that as many people as possible email the government in support of air gun licensing so that we can make the whole of the UK a safer place for cats, animals and human beings.”