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Last Updated: Saturday February 16 2008 11:37 GMT

Airgun attacks on pet cats rising

Barney

Animal experts say they are worried because the number of pet cats being shot at by air guns is rising.

One cat, eight-year-old Barney, was left blind in one eye after being shot with an airgun last year.

And Barney's not alone, with the number of cats hurt in this way almost doubling in the last two years, according to the RSPCA.

The charity is reminding people that hurting an animal on purpose could lead to a big punishment.

Anybody caught hurting animals in this way could be sent to prison or made to pay a massive fine.

Last October new laws were brought in to make it harder to buy air weapons and to keep track of who owns one, although as yet they don't seem to be working.

Barney
Barney was left blind in one eye after being hit by an airgun

In 2006 there were 11 investigations into reports of cats being shot, and in 2008 there were 20.

The RSPCA says the total number of attacks on all animals has also been going up.



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