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Two swans shot dead in Norfolk village

PUBLISHED: 12:16 12 February 2010 | UPDATED: 11:10 07 July 2010

An X-ray of one of the swans found shot dead at Horningtoft

An X-ray of one of the swans found shot dead at Horningtoft

Chris Hill

RSPCA inspectors said a pair of swans "suffered an awful death" after a vicious and prolonged shotgun attack in a Norfolk village.

The society has made an urgent plea for information after the bloody bodies of the two graceful birds were found in Horningtoft, between Dereham and Fakenham.

RSPCA inspectors have condemned a “mindless” attack which saw a pair of swans “suffer an awful death” after the birds were peppered with shot pellets.

The society has made an urgent plea for information after the bloodied bodies of the two graceful birds were found in Brisley, between Dereham and Fakenham.

The dead swans had been partially hidden under bracken next to a path on Kenny's Lane.

It is thought they were killed some time during the morning of Saturday, January 30, or during the previous night, because their wounds were quite fresh.

X-rays released by the RSPCA showed the swans had been peppered with countless shot pellets, with wounds covering their entire bodies, wings and heads.

RSPCA inspector Dean Astill-Dunseith, who is investigating the shootings, said he was appalled at the mindless and repeated attack.

He said: “These swans had tens upon tens of shotgun pellets in their bodies.

“They must have suffered an awful death, being shot over and over again at close range.

“It is a completely mindless act to shoot at wild birds. Those responsible for such attacks should realise that they are illegal and cause huge suffering for no other reason but the bizarre enjoyment of the attacker.”

An RSPCA spokesman said anyone found guilty of killing or injuring wild birds could face a maximum six-month prison sentence and a £5,000 fine under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Anyone with information about the shooting should contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999. Calls can be made in confidence if necessary.

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