January 16, 2018

The RSPCA sadly has many complaints reported to it concerning the illegal and misuse of air weapons each year.  Although low powered weaponry will rarely kill an animal outright, being shot with such weapons can fatally injure wild animals (particularly birds and small mammals).  Additionally low powered weapons can cause painful and sometimes life-threatening injuries to domestic animals.

Regarding each animal as a single statistic is also misleading as many animals are shot several times.

According to RSPCA data the most commonly affected groups of animals by airgun misuse are wild birds and cats.

Greater Manchester, Greater London and West Midlands appear to be the areas in the country that the RSPCA receives the most complaints about airgun misuse.


We welcome the Government’s recent announcement of a consultation on the controls over air weapons and hope that the outcome will improve the safety for people as well as protect animals.


The RSPCA is working with BASC, the BVA and the police to try and identify effective solutions to the problems caused by irresponsible airgun use.


For further information please see our briefings on the topic.