A man has been fined after shooting a neighbour’s cat in Ceredigion, leading to the animal’s tragic death.

John Quinney, 71, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the cat, named Fluff, after the animal was shot by a pellet gun in an incident which took place on, or about, 27 March 2017.

The incident is one of 41 pellet gun incidents across Wales reported to the RSPCA during the first half of 2017 – compared to 58 throughout the entirety of the previous year. An RSPCA inspector has labelled it a “depressing example” of the “fatal nature” of pellet guns.

Mr Quinney, of Newcastle Emlyn, was sentenced at Aberystwyth Justice Centre on Wednesday (13 December). He was told to pay £400 in costs, a £160 fine and a £30 victim surcharge.

He claimed his intention was not to shoot the cat, and that the animal was taken to a vet after the incident occurred.

RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “This poor cat lost his life because of this man’s negligence with a pellet gun.

“Sadly, this shocking incident is a depressing example as to the potentially fatal nature of these guns, if used in this way. Cats – like Fluff – are so often the victim.

“It is absolutely tragic to see an innocent, defenceless creature like this lose his life as a consequence of such a needless occurrence.

“Clearly, stricter regulations around owning an airgun, and better education and safety training for owners, would be a step in the right direction to keeping animals safe from shootings like this.”