I’ve just written article about Kaleb Brooks, and 8-year-old a cat lover in the USA, who volunteers at his local rescue centre. His generous behaviour and respect for animals is at the opposite end of the spectrum to the mindless thugs who take enjoyment in shooting cats with airguns or crossbows in the UK. I am not suggesting that American kids are better than British kids. Of course I am not. I am simply throwing up two contrasting types of behavior.
A survey by the British Veterinary Association informs us that 40% of its members had reported treating cats with airgun or crossbow injuries. An air gun is a pellet gun or BB gun.
This year the RSPCA reports that there have already been 79 airgun attacks. In 2014 there were 932.
Martin Meighan in Lancashire says, “nobody can understand who would do this or why.” He’s referring to his cat who suffered a broken jaw and damage to his tongue having been shot by an idiot with an airgun.
The president, John Blackwell, of the British Veterinary Association says that anyone using an airgun must be aware of its potential for serious injury. He urges parents to educate their children about their use. Once again this is about education and, dare I say, poor parenting.
In the wrong hands, and believe me there are many ‘wrong hands’ in the UK, airguns can cause a lot of damage to a cat or dog (and a person, incidentally) but it is usually cats who are shot judging by the media reports. This is probably because cats are allowed to roam freely whereas dogs are usually on leashes so the owner is in attendance.
Airguns are classified as firearms but in the UK people don’t need licenses for them. There may be an argument that some sort of licensing system is set up for their use. However, I would be very surprised if that ever happened.
It is important that only people who are sensible with a modicum amount of education should be allowed to use airguns. Respect for animals must be inculcated into kids at an early age. If parents can’t do it them schools should.
It is my understanding that there have been almost no prosecutions for shooting a cat with an air gun. Why? This is not good enough. The police don’t take this crime seriously enough.
[Note: it is not clear how many of the 1000 shootings relate to air guns or crossbows but it appears there are many more air gun attacks and most often on cats.]