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Cats Protection comment on the review of air weapons licensing

10 October 2017
Cats Protection comment on the review of air weapons licensing

Home Office minister Nick Hurd announced on 10th October that the Westminster government would review the licensing of air weapons in England and Wales

Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Advocacy Manager said “Cats Protection welcomes today's announcement. In addition to the terrible human deaths and casualties that have been inflicted by the indiscriminate use of air weapons, many pet cats have been the unfortunate victims of air weapons too.


“We know that many people who own air weapons are pet owners and that they use these weapons responsibly. However, our analysis of UK press reports shows there have been 325 shootings of pet cats since the start of last year which have inflicted death, pain and suffering as well as immense anguish and distress to their owners. These figures are the tip of the iceberg because many attacks on cats are not witnessed or reported.


“More than 90 per cent of these shootings took place in England and Wales where it is currently legal for anyone over 18 to purchase an air weapon without the need for a licence. This is an unacceptable state of affairs which needs to be addressed urgently. We want to see the government at Westminster follow the example of Scotland and Northern Ireland where it is illegal to own air weapons without a licence and where there are fewer reported air weapon attacks on cats. We believe that licensing air weapons in England and Wales will help reduce air weapon injuries to pets and people.  


“A Cats Protection petition launched in the spring of this year calling for the licensing of air weapons in England and Wales has already attracted over 72,000 signatures indicating the massive public support for a change in the law. We will be in touch with the Minister’s office about his review of the regulation of air weapons.


“We are aiming for 100,000 signatures for our petition. To sign and find out more, please visit www.cats.org.uk/airgunspetition”   



For more information or an interview please contact Cats Protection’s Media Office on 01825 741 911 or email media.office@cats.org.uk or @CPMediaTeam on Twitter.

Notes to Editors:


  1. Cats Protection is the UK’s leading cat welfare charity and helps over 190,000 cats each year through a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 34 centres.
  2. Cats Protection’s registered charity number is 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland). .
  3. Founded as the Cats Protection League in 1927, the charity adopted the name Cats Protection in 1998.  We ask that you use the name Cats Protection when referring to the charity in all published material.
  4. More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at www.cats.org.uk