Fury as cats are wounded by pellet gun

Fury as cats are wounded by pellet gun

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GK CRONJE

24 August 2022

Perrins also noted that sadistic curiosity and delinquent behaviour are some of the causes, and animals wounded by pellet guns are never accidental.

A resident in Grobler Street has stated with concern that they have noticed that a young male in the area has been targeting and wounding animals with a pellet gun, most notably her cats. It is troubling to note the extent of the injuries inflicted by the shooter. The pellet inflicted two wounds, one behind the animal’s ear, and another laceration above the left eye. While a pellet gun is considered as a non-lethal weapon, an adequately placed pellet is enough to wound, maim and even fatally harm an animal, especially smaller animals such as cats and smaller dogs. Another complaint has also been noted that a resident’s ginger cat had been seriously wounded by a pellet gun. Suffering lacerations and punctures to the chest, the cat has now been missing for two days. Both cats have been spayed, and pose no threat or nuisance. It is also alleged that a shooter in the same area have opened fire on passing pedestrians. It is unclear if the incident relates to the same individual shooting the animals. There have, however, been a slwe of complaints of animals being injured in this manner in this general area.

A pellet gun has a caliber smaller than 5.66mm, as to which it falls under the South African airgun laws. While it is not a requirement to possess a firearm licence for a person to own a pellet gun, a pellet gun is regarded as a firearm in terms of the definition section of the Firearms Act. Any person who uses a pellet gun to commit a crime may be charged for possession of a firearm replica to induce fear. It is also an offence to discharge a pellet gun in a residential area, since it jeopardizes the safety of an innocent person. Animals that are targeted fall under the same. In terms of Section 2(1) (s) of the Animal Protection Act of 1962, any person who kills an animal in contravention of a prohibition in terms of a notice published in the Gazette is guilty of an offence, and liable to a R4 000 fine or imprisonment of up to one 2 years. The wilful injury or maiming on any animal also falls under this category.

It is an offence to cause injury to any person, animal, or cause damage to property of any person by negligently using a firearm, an antique firearm or an airgun (pellet gun). It is also an offence to fire an airgun (pellet gun) in a manner likely to injure or endanger the safety or property of any person, or with reckless disregard for the safety or property of any person. AWS spokesperson, Allan Perrins, says that most cases involving pellet guns involve cats. Perrins also noted that sadistic curiosity and delinquent behaviour are some of the causes, and animals wounded by pellet guns are never accidental. Injuries inflicted to animals could result in loss of sight or limbs, permanent disfiguration or disability, and even death. Pellets lodged in animals could potentially become infected, and lead to the animal’s death.

If you notice someone discharging a pellet gun in a residential ward, please report the guilty party immediately to the neighborhood watch, CPF, SACCW or SAPS.