Save our Swans - Licence the sale of Air Rifles

0 have signed. Let’s get to 300,000!

This week 5 baby swans and their parents were found dead, their bodies wrapped in plastic bags and dumped in a stream in Kent. The entire family had been hunted for ‘fun’, killed by guns including air rifles. In my work as a volunteer rescuing swans, I’ve seen hundreds of beautiful birds killed in this tortuous way. This is why I’m calling for it to be a legal requirement to have a licence before you can buy an air rifle.

I’ve been volunteering with swan rescue charities for 25 years. We work around the clock, responding to calls about swans that are found dead or injured - many shot with air rifles. Even after all this time, I still find it deeply upsetting to find swans so cruelly and unnecessarily killed like this. Being shot by an air rifle is a particularly painful way for a swan to die; it can take days for a shot swan to die and they suffer an immense amount of pain. Sadly, we see it far too often.

Swans are majestic animals, and they play a vital role in naturally balancing our ecosystems. They also mate for life, so when even a single swan is killed in this barbaric way, their partner and their offspring often struggle to survive without them.

And it’s not just swans. There are hundreds of reports every year of cats being shot dead by air rifles too.

Right now, anyone over 18 can buy an air rifle in England and Wales - no questions asked. You don’t need a licence and you can legally own one when you are as young as 14. Scotland and Northern Ireland have licensing laws, so why can’t we introduce it in England and Wales? Introducing licensing would mean fewer people could get their hands on these guns, which means fewer animals will be hunted down and shot.

We cannot let our beautiful swans keep being killed like this. Please help me save them from suffering such a cruel and senseless death by signing my petition.

Go to for information about saving swans.