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Government to review air weapons regulation
The RSPCA received almost 2000 reports of airgun attacks on cats between 2012 and 2017.

RSPCA hopes future regulations will better protect animals

The government has announced that it plans to review the regulation of air weapons licensing.

In a statement, police minister Nick Hurd said that he had written to the coroner and confirmed his intention to review the regulation in England and Wales.

“This is an appropriate time to take stock of the regulatory position and assess whether the current controls, which are already strong, continue to be appropriate and effective,” he said.

“I think that a review of air weapon regulation is important and timely, we will do so against a backdrop of existing controls that are, by all international comparisons, very robust.”

The announcement follows the case of Benjamin Wragge, who died last year after he was accidentally shot with an air weapon. His local coroner in Suffolk wrote to the Home Office requesting a review of current legislation.

Soon after this event, 18-month-old Harry Studley from Bristol was left with serious injuries after he was shot with an air rifle by a neighbour.

Welcoming the move, David Bowles RSPCA assistant director of external affairs said that he hopes any future regulations will better protect people, children and animals.

“The RSPCA has long been calling for stricter regulations around owning airguns as well as better education and explanation of the law for those buying an airgun,” he said.
“Our 24-hour cruelty hotline receives hundreds of calls every year reporting airgun attacks on animals. Last year, we received 890 calls and this year looks set to top that and, worryingly, reach a five-year high." 

He continued: “Animals can suffer horrendous injuries and often die as a result of airgun attacks and these weapons are potentially extremely dangerous for people as well.”

Between 1 January 2012 and 30 June 2017, the RSPCA received some 4,828 reports of airgun incidents. Of these, almost 2000 reports related to cats and a further 2,000 related to wild birds. The other reports involved dogs (345), wild mammals (349) and farm birds (104). 

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Giraffe Conservation Foundation named BVNA’s charity of the year

News Story 1
 BVNA president Wendy Nevins has named The Giraffe Conservation Foundation as the association’s charity of the year for 2017/2018.

The Giraffe Conservation Foundation dedicates its work to a sustainable future for wild giraffe populations. Wendy Nevins said: ‘I have chosen the Giraffe Conservation Foundation for the BVNA Charity of the Year because I have always thought Giraffes were magnificent animals.

‘I also think it is important that we look at the wider issue of conservation and education across all species.’  

News Shorts
Scientists win award for openness in animal research

UK scientists have won an award for the 360ş Laboratory Animal Tours project, which offered the public an online, interactive tour of four research facilities that are usually restricted access.

The project won a public engagement award at the Understanding Animal Research (UAR) Openness Awards, which recognise UK research facilities for transparency on their use of animals in research, as well as innovation in communicating with the public.

The tour was created by the Pirbright Institute, the University of Oxford, the University of Bristol and MRC Harwell Institute.