Rifle used to shoot or maim birds

DOVES have been shot and left to die, according to residents in Wedmore. Local animal lover Susanne Ager noticed that several of her birds had gone missing over the past fortnight. Mrs Ager kept around 30 doves at her property on Church Street, but now ov

DOVES have been shot and left to die, according to residents in Wedmore.Local animal lover Susanne Ager noticed that several of her birds had gone missing over the past fortnight. Mrs Ager kept around 30 doves at her property on Church Street, but now over half have disappeared.Mrs Ager said: "Everyone who speaks to me says how outraged they are. There are very few of my birds left."The doves were found in neighbours' gardens and one was found in a pub yard. Some of the birds were shot through the wings, and were taken to the Secret World wildlife rescue centre in East Huntspill, where staff confirmed they had been shot with an air rifle. Mrs Ager is now concerned for her other birds, as several jackdaws have also disappeared.Mrs Ager has looked after animals for the last 25 years. She had over 30 doves as well as 100 ducks, geese and hens on her two-acre site. In the past, Mrs Ager has kept a herd of goats, a cow and has taken in stray dogs.She said: "I had a dog as a child and I have always adored animals. I look after animals that no-one wants or take in animals when their owners die."Some of her more unusual animals include a 25-year-old goose, a blind jackdaw and she has recently rescued a macaw. Mrs Ager has now erected a sign outside her property asking 'who shot my birds?'The RSPCA has also been notified. A spokesman said: "The incidents sound horrendous. Doves are a protected species." Shooting doves breaches the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The RSPCA has urged anyone with information to contact the cruelty and information line on 08705 555999. Mrs Ager added: "The doves used to be waiting for me every morning. Now it is so quiet without them.


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