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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 June, 2004, 10:24 GMT 11:24 UK
Rise in airgun attacks on animals
Air gun
RSPCA statistics show a rise in attacks during the school holidays
Shooting attacks on animals in the Eastern region are on the increase, according to the latest figures.

The RSPCA says in the east 17 attacks have been reported on dogs and birds in the past three months - compared with 14 over the same period in 2003.

The charity says teenagers are largely to blame partly because of school holidays.

An RSPCA spokesperson said it relied on the goodwill of the public to report incidents.

Recent attacks include a cat deliberately shot and seriously injured in Buckinghamshire and a swan shot down in flight in Hertfordshire.

In November 2003 the Anti-Social Behaviour Act made it an offence for anyone under the age of 17 to have an air weapon or ammunition unless supervised by someone aged 21 or over.

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