Warning over “worrying” number of air gun attacks on animals in Norfolk and Suffolk

A 'worrying' number of air gun attacks on animals in Norfolk and Suffolk this year has prompted a stark warning to offenders.

Figures released by the RSPCA reveal there were almost 800 attacks on animals last year. Of those, 18 took place in Norfolk – which has so far this year seen 10 already.

Meanwhile, Suffolk saw 11 such attacks on animals in 2012 and seven so far in 2013. Those startling figures have prompted a warning by animal charity bosses that those responsible could be jailed.

James Yeates, chief veterinary officer at the RSPCA, said: 'Cats and wildlife are often the target of air rifle attacks, simply because they are out in the open with no one to protect them. The injuries caused by such attacks are horrific and often fatal. These attacks are often deliberate by people who just don't care about hurting animals or are deliberately targeting animals to keep them away from gardens.

'Whoever carries out these attacks needs to understand that they are illegal and you face up to six months in prison if caught. The fact that we have received almost 800 reports of injured animals is deeply worrying and shows we still need to keep up our work to stop such attacks.'

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He added: 'Norfolk and Suffolk both show steady numbers of calls about air gun attacks, with a worrying number already this year. Hopefully, the message will get through that people who target animals with air guns could face serious consequences.'

Figures released by the RSPCA showed, in Norfolk, there were 20 air gun attacks on animals in 2010 and 15 in 2011. In Suffolk, there were 11 in 2010 and 10 in 2011.

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Nationally there were 799 incidents reported to the RSPCA in 2012, an increase of 40 compared to 2011.

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