CAT lovers are being urged to back a major campaign seeking a change in the law on air guns, to bring England and Wales in line with the rest of the UK.

Cats Protection’s online petition has gained over 23,000 signatures so far. The charity wants to see the law changed so it is illegal to buy, own or use an air gun without a licence.

Both Northern Ireland and Scotland already have air gun licensing laws in place, and with a lack of UK-wide regulation, it has been reported that 90 per cent of air gun attacks on cats happen in England and Wales.

The Daily Echo has reported on numerous air gun attacks on cats in Dorset.

One cat, called Whisper, was killed near his Ensbury Park home last month. He had been shot four times over the course of two-and-a-half years before the fatal attack.

A six-month-old kitten, also from the Ensbury Park area, is lucky to be alive after he was shot with an air gun earlier this year – the pellet narrowly missed the young cat’s spine and vital organs.

And a Bengal cat from Corfe Castle died after being shot with an air weapon last September.

The five-year-old, which had been shot on a previous occasion, died after a pellet ruptured his bowel.

Cats Protection’s advocacy manager Jacqui Cuff said air gun attacks on cats were a concern for whole communities.

“The reality of an air gun attack on a cat is horrific, and around half die as a result of their injuries. Those that survive will endure considerable suffering and may be left with life-long disabilities.

“Owners can face a great deal of upset and huge vet bills, and whole communities can be left deeply worried about attacks of this kind in their neighbourhood,” she added.

Northern Ireland led the way in restricting gun ownership, and since 2004 anyone who buys, owns or uses an air weapon in Northern Ireland is now required to have a licence. Scotland adopted similar legislation earlier in 2017.

To watch Cats Protection’s campaign video and sign the petition, visit