The RSPCA is appealing for information after a swan was shot with an air rifle in Cheshire.


A concerned member of the public found the bird with a large wound above his leg in a field in Well Lane, Weaverham, on Sunday 5 March. They contacted the RSPCA, and Animal Collection Officer Lauren Bradshaw collected the bird.

Lauren said: “The swan had been grounded in a field and I could easily see the wound above his leg. I took him to a vet, where he was x-rayed. This showed that there was an air gun pellet embedded in his body.

“The wound looked fresh so he is likely to have been shot sometime that day.”

The swan was taken to the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Animal Centre, however his injury was so severe that he was put to sleep to prevent further suffering.

Anyone who has any information about who shot the swan should contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.

This incident comes two weeks after a swan was fatally shot at Middlewich Canal. An x-ray of the swan showed four shotgun pellets in his body, as well as an air rifle pellet that had gone through the back of the swan’s head and had become lodged in the bird’s jaw.

Lauren said: “It is very distressing to think that people take pleasure in causing harm to these beautiful and defenseless birds. These are deliberate acts of cruelty and we would appeal to people’s consciences not to commit these offences.”

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.)