Hundreds of people – including young children – are sharing footage via WhatsApp of them torturing and killing animals with catapults.

An investigation’s discovered 489 members across 11 groups, which show the weapons being used to target pets and wildlife.

Danni Rogers volunteers at the Swan Sanctuary in Shepperton, which rescues waterfowl, and has 20 birds with catapult wounds.

It’s illegal to cause animals unnecessary suffering, while WhatsApp says the content’s against its terms.