Three crows shot in Weston-super-Mare
- Credit: luke hopkins
Three crows were shot with an air weapon in Weston yesterday (Thursday).
Inspector Hayley Lawrence, who is investigating for the RSPCA animal welfare charity, was called to reports of an injured bird who had dropped from the sky onto a patio with a wound to the head.
Later the same day, further calls were made by people living in Downside Road and Argyle Avenue on the Bournville estate after more birds with similar injuries were discovered.
A second bird was found to have an extensive wound to the wing, and had to be put to sleep to end suffering after being found in a distressed state, unable to fly.
The body of a third crow, who had been discovered by a member of the public a few days earlier, was also found to have a airgun wound to the head.
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Inspector Lawrence said: “Such unnecessary and callous attacks can cause a lot of pain and distress to birds, and are often fatal.
“In this case it is extremely worrying that three birds have been attacked in the same area, it seems very likely the incidents may be linked and other birds may fall victim to the same attacker.
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“The bird who had fallen from the sky dropped a pink-coloured dog biscuit when it fell from the sky, which we think could have been used as bait for the birds.
“We are encouraging anyone who has information about these incidents to call the RSPCA’s information line on 03001 238018.”
All wild birds are protected under the wildlife and countryside act and it is an offence to kill, injure or take them without a licence.
The maximum penalty, if found guilty, is six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine.
While crows can be legally controlled under General Licences issued by Natural England or Natural Resources Wales, these licences can only be used by authorised persons in certain situations and by following the conditions in each licence.
It remains illegal to do anything which will cause unnecessary suffering to the birds.