Notes from Tiggywinkles: Just why do we need airguns?

The X-ray of the hedgehog
The X-ray of the hedgehog

It takes a lot of experience to be able to read an X-ray. But take a look at this image of a hedgehog.

It doesn’t take a lot of know-how to see that it has been shot in the head, by an airgun.

The height of cowardice.

Yes, but we take in many wild animals, callous victims of airgun pellets.

A swan with four pellets in its head. Kestrel, sparrow, duck ... the list goes on and on.

And all the victims we see are injured, in pain and often have fractures of their wings and legs.

Standing stock still, herons are frequent easily picked-off targets.

Two this week.

One shot in the wing and the other a fractured leg where the pellet passed through to lodge in its other hip.

It cannot stand and is going to take all our skill to get him back on his feet.

We see so many victims of airgun attacks and I would just like to point out a few home truths.

Firstly the law sees airguns not as toys but as FIREARMS with strict laws governing their ownership and use.

It is easy to blame young people for airgun misdemeanours but that may not be the case.

Only those over 18 may own an air-gun and new legislation makes it an offence not to secure any weapon whereby a person under 18 can gain unauthorised access. Also it is illegal to have an airgun that can be seen in a public place.

Personally I cannot see the point of owning an airgun but would refer any would-be marksmen to the Codes of Practice of the Home Office or the BASC before they incur a fine or even imprisonment.