Boys cautioned for killing 50 doves with airgun

Doves that survived the airgun attack
Image caption Five adult and four baby doves received treatment for their injuries, but the baby doves died

Three boys have been cautioned for killing more than 50 doves in Surrey.

The birds were shot with an airgun in a dovecote in Bookham, near Leatherhead. The boys were aged between 10 and 11.

Wildlife Aid Foundation said it had treated five adult and four baby doves for their injuries, but the baby doves died.

The birds were killed on 21 August but police said giving youngsters youth conditional cautions was a lengthy process.

The cautions are aimed at teaching the offenders the impact of their actions.

The boys will also work at an animal shelter or charity, be educated on the dangers of firearms and attend sessions on the consequences of crime, Surrey Police said.

The force has reissued guidance on the ownership of air guns.

Under-14s must by supervised by someone aged over 21 on private land and have the owner's permission.

John Pearson, Mole Valley neighbourhood sergeant, said: "Air weapon owners have very strict legal requirements and social responsibilities which they must meet.

"This was a shocking scene for the owners to return to and frightening [that] those children could be responsible, which emphasises the need for such weapons to be stored securely."

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