Last Saturday 6th March, hounds from the Western Hunt killed a pet cat on a housing estate in West Cornwall. A brave neighbour filmed a member of hunt staff picking up the dead cat, looking round to see if he was observed, then callously throwing the poor animal over a fence out of sight before running off. The incident has received national media coverage on ITV. You can view the video here.
The Western Hunt have previous for attacking cats, having ripped a cat’s cheek off in 2017. The same article in The Canary reveals that the neighbouring Cury Hunt attacked a dog and its owner whilst they were walking on the beach. Unbelievably, the Western Hunt killed another cat in 2009 and yet another in 1995, proving conclusively that this isn’t an isolated incident.
It’s not just Cornish hunts that are guilty of killing pets. In December 2020, Derbyshire’s High Peak Harriers killed a cat in very similar circumstances. This is another hunt with previous, having also killed a cat in 2006. They were also filmed by Nottingham Hunt Saboteurs chasing and harassing a calf, forcing it to jump over two dry stone walls in a desperate bid to escape.
In 2018 Celia Hammond’s cat sanctuary was invaded by the entire pack of hounds from the East Sussex & Romney Marsh Hunt. Of the 130 cats at the centre, more than 60 were missing in the wake of the incident and 9 never returned.
Also in 2018 hounds from the Meynell & South Staffs Hunt attacked a herd of alpacas leaving one so badly “ripped apart” she had to be put down, prompting a police investigation. Another cat was killed in 2018, this time in Staffordshire by the Albrighton & Woodland Hunt. In fact, a quick internet search reveals an endless catalogue of out of control hounds killing pets, farm animals and obviously wild animals, the reason they’re out in the first place.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated:
“Any of us with companion animals can empathise with the heartbreak and anger felt by the poor people who’s cat was killed by the Western Hunt. The fact that the huntsman threw the poor cat over a fence in a bid to hide it then turned up at their house offering money shortly after only adds insult to injury. No animal – wild or domestic – is safe when packs of hounds are unleashed into the countryside. This incident proves once again that hunt hounds are still trained to chase and kill live animals, and not artificial trails as the hunts claim.”