Elgin cat ‘Melvin’ prompts call for speedy passage of airgun legislation

A pet cat was found suffering from horrific injuries in Elgin after being shot with an air-powered weapon.

Residents called in the Scottish SPCA after the pet was found in Forbes Court in the town with rescue officer Peter Boulton taking the balck and white cat, nicknamed Melvin, to a vet where an airgun pellet was removed from its shoulder.

Mr Boulton highlighted the incident as good enough reason why the Scottish Government needs to implement the licensing of air guns as a matter of urgency.

He said: “Thankfully the pellet does not seem to have caused any lasting damage this time – but it is yet another example of a defenceless animal being injured as a result of airgun misuse.

“This incident highlights why the Scottish Government should take action over these weapons, the new licensing regime should ensure that only those with a lawful reason are allowed to posses such a dangerous item.”

Following its rescue last Thursday the pet is not in the care of the Scottish SPCA’s centre in Inverness.  Mr Boulton said: “Melvin has suffered quite an ordeal but he is a lovely, friendly boy who is doing well in our care.  In addition to being shot he is also very under-weight, which the vet has advised may be linked to a hyper-thyroid problem.”

Melvin was not micro-chipped but Mr Boulton said his owner must surely be worried and it would be preferred if he could return to his own home.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact the Scottish SPCA on 03000 999999.

A Scottish Government spokesman confirmed that airgun legislation was one of 13 new legislative issues announced by the First Minister last month.  He said: “We are working closely with Police and other stakeholders to develop a licensing system which is both practical and affordable and will take these weapons out of the hands of those who misuse them.”

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