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is a universal emblem of peace, but this one sadly came into the sights of someone with an air gun. You can see the pellet embedded in the thigh and fragments left in its path as it shattered the wing. Unfortunately, euthanasia was the kindest option.

It is a fact of life that some folk like to shoot animals- not a subject for a Facebook post- but this person clearly isn't aware that the law makes no distinction between air rifles and more powerful weapons for which a licence is required, so an offense committed with an air rifle carries the same penalty.

Many rules apply: the need for a safe 'back-stop' in case of a missed shot and for land-owner's permission both appear to have been breached in this case. Also, where live 'quarry' are concerned, the rifle must be of sufficient power to kill cleanly- another failure. All wild birds are protected, although some have an 'open' season, and even certain 'pest' species can only be shot if strict criteria are met: to prevent serious damage to crops, to protect/conserve flora and fauna, to protect public health or safety....none of which apply to a bird sitting on a disused industrial site behind our surgery.


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