A defenceless toad was found with an airgun pellet in the middle of its head, leading to calls from the RSPCA to change the laws on owning the machinse.
The poor dead toad was found by a small lake on the Gwyneed Hills in Wales by a family on a natural history tripe.
Dad James Williams was out with children Chloe and Connor when he found it, leaving him feeling “sad and quite angry”, North Wales Live reports.
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He said: “We always look forward to seeing the large number of toads that breed in that lake, and we go looking and netting for the tadpoles each year.
“This particular toad was just on the side of the pond, a little bit back from the edge. My boy picked it up and saw it had a bullet in its head.”
And he now fears that an influx of yobs going to the area to shoot frogs “for fun” is impacting on the mating season.
The area is normally a hive of activity at this time of year, with James describing the waters as being “black” due to the amount of spawn in it.
But, he said: “They must go out into the moor, the toadlets are in their millions there.
“But they were no way near as numerous this year, to be honest.”
As it stands, anyone caught deliberately using an airgun to injure an animal can be prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act.
“If convicted, offenders face up to five years in prison and/or an unlimited fine.
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But that is not strong enough, RSPCA Cymru has warned.
A spokesman said: “The RSPCA is appalled that some people take pleasure from cruelly and deliberately targeting animals in this way.
“Sadly, these types of incidents are not uncommon. The charity receives hundreds of calls to investigate airgun shootings every year.
“We continue to call for stricter regulations around owning an airgun in both England and Wales. “Better education, basic safety training for owners and a thorough explanation of the law could help protect countless animals from these horrible attacks in the future.”
Anyone with information about similar incidents is asked to call the RSPCA’s cruelty line on 0300-123-4999.
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