Petition Make the sale of catapults/ammunition and carrying catapults in public illegal

Make it illegal to carry catapults in public places, so the police can arrest those carrying, especially in areas of known wildlife crime, regardless if ammunition is found or not.

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Also stop companies selling catapults and ammunition in the UK, so they are not so easily accessible.

I am an wildlife rescuer and believe we are currently in a wildlife crime pandemic. There has been an increase in reports of wildlife being attacked by groups of youths carrying catapults and ball bearings.

75% of my call outs are due to apparent abuse of wildlife offences.

The law needs to change to give the Police more powers arrest those carrying catapults

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Government responded

This response was given on 27 March 2024

Existing legislation provides the correct balance between protecting wildlife from the small number of individuals who misuse catapults, whilst also allowing the public to enjoy legitimate pastimes.

We are clear that catapults should not be used for illegal purposes, whether against wildlife, people or property. Under provisions in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, The Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 and Animal Welfare Act 2006, there are a range of offences around injuring and inflicting unnecessary suffering on wildlife. These measures give the police broad powers to deal with cases where wildlife is attacked, including cases involving the misuse of catapults.

Catapults do however have legitimate uses, for example within fishing and at present we consider that existing legislation provides the correct balance between protecting the public from the small number of individuals who misuse catapults, while also allowing the public to enjoy legitimate pastimes. We have no plans to legislate to prevent the possession in public of catapults at this time or to ban the sale of catapults and catapult ammunition, however; we continue to keep all relevant legislation under review in the interests of public safety.

Home Office

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