Two boys aged 12 and 15 are to make bird boxes and learn about animal cruelty after a pigeon was killed in Hemingbrough.
The bird died in June 2023 when it was initially injured with a slingshot before being punched to death.
The boys admitted to killing the bird during their police interview, stating that the pigeon was killed to end its suffering after being hit by the slingshot.
The case was sent to a Youth Offending Team for a decision to be made on the most appropriate outcome.
In July 2023, a Youth Offending Panel agreed to the boys being issued with a positive diversionary course to avoid criminalising them at a young age and to help steer them away from entering the criminal justice system.
As part of the course they will be carrying out work for local wildlife projects, learning about wildlife and the law, and building a bird box for the local community.
Inspector Martin Wedgwood of Selby Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We know the incident caused a lot of upset locally and the boys have shown true remorse for what they did.
The course, developed by the RSPCA, is designed to prevent children from being criminalised, to help them understand the consequences of their actions and for them to make a positive contribution to the community.”
Geoff Edmond, lead wildlife officer for the RSPCA, added: “This incident understandably caused upset and distress within the Selby Community. The RSPCA worked closely with North Yorkshire Police to ensure that it was dealt with appropriately, at a time when the number of reported attacks on wildlife with weapons like slingshots, crossbows and airguns is sadly increasing.
The RSPCA is committed to developing programmes and resources that raise awareness of animal sentience and the consequences of cruelty and abuse which can be delivered by youth offending teams and probation or community police.”