The RSPCA is appealing for information after three wild birds were shot and fatally injured in a Staffordshire town.

The animal welfare charity was contacted by a concerned member of the public following the discovery of three wounded bird bodies – a magpie, blackbird and pigeon – in Dimsdale View East, in Newcastle-under-Lyme

The bodies have all been found in gardens in the last month, with the latest being found on 15 July.

RSPCA inspector Charlotte Melvin, who is investigating, said: “The member of the public who contacted us was concerned as shortly before finding the bodies, they also heard gunshots. The birds also had wounds on their bodies which suggested they had been shot.

“It is obviously very concerning that these birds are being shot, possibly by someone for fun. Such unnecessary and callous attacks can cause a lot of pain and distress to birds, and are often fatal such as in this case. It is extremely worrying that three birds have been attacked on different occasions, possibly by the same person.

“It is so upsetting to think that people take pleasure in causing such horrific injuries to defenseless animals. These are deliberate acts of cruelty and we would appeal to people’s consciences not to commit these offences.

“We would also like to remind people that under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 it is illegal to take, injure or kill wild birds or interfere with their nest or eggs, unless under licence. The maximum penalty, if found guilty, is six months in prison and a £5,000 fine.”

Anyone who has any information about the incident is asked to contact the RSPCA in complete confidence on 0300 123 8018.

The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3. (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message.)