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Tuesday, 18 May 2021

RSPCA appeal after injured Bedfordshire buzzard found to have been shot

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Appeal for information after bird of prey targeted

The RSPCA is appealing for information after an injured buzzard was found to have been shot in Henlow, on Friday 5 February. The animal welfare charity is investigating after an x-ray revealed the buzzard has been shot in the wing with an air rifle.

RSPCA Inspector Stephen Reeves had been called to rescue the bird after a concerned member of the public found the buzzard unable to take off because of the injured wing.

Stephen collected the bird and took them to South Essex Wildlife Hospital to be assessed. While there, vets x-rayed the bird and discovered that the buzzard had been shot in the wing, causing a fracture of the humerus.

Sadly the decision was made that the buzzard had to be put to sleep to prevent him suffering further as the injuries were so severe. Stephen said:

“It is very upsetting to think that this beautiful bird was deliberately targeted and shot and this is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

“Anyone with any information about how this bird came to be harmed is urged to call the RSPCA Inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018 or the police.”

All wild birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and it is an offence to kill, injure or take wild birds except under licence. The maximum penalty, if found guilty, is six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine.

If you see an animal in distress you can ring the RSPCA’s cruelty line on 0300 123 4999.

The RSPCA receives almost 1,000 calls to investigate such cases every year and sadly cats and wildlife are usually the animals most often affected.

It is calling for tighter controls on air weapons. This, along with better education and explanation of the law when buying an air gun, and requirements that everyone must receive basic safety training before being allowed to walk out of the shop could help relieve the problem.

These weapons cause horrific pain and suffering. Anyone caught deliberately using an air gun to injure an animal can face up to six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine if found guilty under the Animal Welfare Act.

Throughout the winter months, the RSPCA expects to rescue thousands of animals from neglect, cruelty and suffering. Already this winter, it has received more than 82,000 calls.

To help its rescue teams continue to reach the animals who desperately need help, visit RSPCA and Join the Winter Rescue #JoinTheRescue.

Henlow buzzard X-ray Image South Essex Wildlife Hospital
Henlow buzzard X-ray Image South Essex Wildlife Hospital

John Guinn
I am the editor of The Flitwick Chronicle. This is an independent, local news service based in Bedfordshire. The Chronicle provides local news that is investigative, inclusive and relevant to the residents of Flitwick.

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