Buzzard found shot by airgun pellet near Exeter, Devon put to sleep by RSPCA .

Buzzard 1

The buzzard which was shot over Tedburn St Mary is now in safe hands

The RSPCA are appealing for information after a buzzard was found shot by the side of the road in Tedburn St Mary, near Exeter, Devon, on 20 January 2017.  The animal welfare charity is investigating after finding an air gun pellet embedded in its foot.

The Buzzard was taken to the RSPCA’s West Hatch wildlife centre near Taunton, Somerset where the shooting injury was confirmed from a post-mortem investigation after the buzzard sadly had to be put to sleep because of his injuries.

Bel Deering, centre manager at RSPCA West Hatch where thousands of animals from across the west country and south of England are treated every year, said: “This beautiful buzzard came to us after having been found cold, weak and very thin at the side of the road. ” Mr Deering said the Buzzard had been hit by a car and closer examination confirmed the bird had a very swollen foot with restricted movement.

“The central digit was permanently flexed as a result of the air gun pellet injury – a permanent disability which would have resulted in chronic pain and discomfort and difficulty hunting. The buzzard was also suffering from severe extensive soft tissue damage and internal hemorrhage as a result of the road accident.”

The buzzard is the fourth to have come to the team in West Hatch after being shot since the beginning of this month which has led the charity to remind people that it is an offence under the Wildlife & Countryside Act to intentionally injure, kill or take a wild bird, except under licence and that anyone found guilty could face a fine of up to £5,000 and/or six months imprisonment.



1 comment to Buzzard found shot by airgun pellet near Exeter, Devon put to sleep by RSPCA .

  • Alastair Henderson

    Given the orientation of the air gun pellet in the top of the foot with the front of the pellet pointing along the toe towards the talon the Buzzard must have been flying towards the firer and was therefore very unfortunate to have been hit. The first photograph gives the impression of it being alert and otherwise worth rehabilitating. Mention of further injuries caused by a collision with a vehicle combined to prompt its euthanasia. The RSPCA have a tough job given the frequency and quantity of raptors of all species reaching their centre at West Hatch. I wonder whether any consideration is weighed in the balance depending on the species, or, as seems likely all are considered subject to the same criteria?