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Sussex Police hunt animal killer
1:10pm Friday 7th September 2012 in News
Police are hunting a gunman they believe is responsible for a string of animal shootings.
The latest animal to be killed was a magpie. Other birds, including jackdaws and pigeons, have also been shot this week.
Sussex Police and animal charities have received several reports of birds being shot in the past week in the area of the scenic Cuckoo trail, between Hailsham and Heathfield.
Police believe the same gunman may have been behind a spate of cat shootings in the area last year.
PCSO Hannah Parks said: “The most recent killing was on Monday when a magpie was shot.
“A resident rang us having found other injured birds.
PCSO Hannah ParksThese birds are protected. Even if they are causing a nuisance, harming them is not acceptable. I believe someone is doing this for fun
“We know the magpie was shot, by a BB gun or air rifle. Last year we had five or six cat shootings. I think it is likely the same person is responsible for the latest shootings.
“These birds are protected. Even if they are causing a nuisance, harming them is not acceptable. “I believe someone is doing this for fun.
“It is awful that anyone would want to harm animals.” Trevor Weeks of East Sussex Wildlife and Animal Rescue (WRAS) examined the magpie and said he was convinced it had been killed by a shot from a BB gun or air rifle.
Having seen the horrendous injuries caused to animals, Mr Weeks called for BB and air guns to be restricted to dedicated clubs.
He said: “Shooting birds is not normally a quick death.
“Most of the casualties that are rescued are alive but badly injured and in some cases the injuries are horrific.
“All guns should be limited to licensed gun clubs.
“What concerns me is that the guns involved don’t kill immediately.
“They cause animals to die slow, painful deaths.”
Anyone with any information about the shootings is urged to calls Sussex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0500 555111.
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