RSPCA: Cruel crossbow attacks kill birds

The RSPCA is appealing for information after two recent fatal crossbow attacks on wild birds.

Two ducks and a pigeon have been found in Cheshire with bolts from a crossbow lodged in them. All had sustained such severe injuries that they had to be put to sleep to save them from further suffering.

The ducks were found in a canal at Bookcase Lane in Congleton on March 23 – one with a bolt through its head and the other through its wing.

RSPCA Inspector Emma Timmis was called by a concerned member of the public who had seen them swimming. She said: “I have never seen bolts like these before – it is utterly pointless cruelty. We think the ducks may have been swimming around for a few days with these things in them – unable to fly and possibly eat.”

A week before, the pigeon was found with a similar bolt through its wing in a back garden in nearby Crewe. The otherwise healthy bird was taken to RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Nantwich where staff discovered severe open fractures caused by the crossbow.

Stapeley Grange manager Lee Stewart said: “It could well be that these two incidents are linked as such admissions are rare and have occurred within the space of a few days in fairly close proximity.

“In each case there was nothing we could do to save the birds and they could have been suffering for quite some time – a horrible way to die. What possesses someone to get a crossbow like this and use it to shoot at a wild creature is beyond me.”

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 it is an offence to cause injury or suffering to wild birds.

Anyone with any information about these incidents should contact the RSPCA cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.

Notes to editors


— Photographs and interviews available from the RSPCA press office.


RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9RS
Press office direct lines: 0300 123 0244/0288 Fax: 0303 123 0099
Duty press officer (evenings and weekends) Tel 08448 222888 and ask for pager number 828825
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