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More than 60 animals - including cats - have been shot with airguns in the last five years across Hertfordshire...

That's according to the RSPCA which is welcoming the Government's review into regulations around the licensing of air weapons.

It comes after the case of 13-year-old Benjamin Wragge who died after being shot by an air gun. Another case in Bristol saw an 18-month-old baby seriously injured by an air gun.

Reports of shootings also include incidents involving wild birds, mammals, dogs and farm birds. There were 68 cases in Buckinghamshire and 49 in Bedfordshire in the same period.

David Bowles, RSPCA assistant director of external affairs, has been telling BOB fm: "The RSPCA welcomes this announcement and any review around the regulation of air weapons licensing.

It is heartbreaking that such a tragic incident has sparked this review and our thoughts go out to Benjamin's family and friends, but we hope that any future regulations around the licensing of these weapons in England and Wales will better protect people, children and animals.

The RSPCA has long been calling for stricter regulations around owning airguns as well as better education and explanation of the law for those buying an airgun".

David continued: "Our 24-hour cruelty hotline receives hundreds of calls every year reporting airgun attacks on animals. Last year, we received  890 calls and this year looks set to top that and, worryingly, reach a five-year high.  

Animals can suffer horrendous injuries and often die as a result of airgun attacks and these weapons are potentially extremely dangerous for people as well".

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