Mini was a much-loved 14 year old family cat living a quiet life in Cornwall. She was a rescue, and hadn’t had the best start in life, but she found happiness with her new family. Unfortunately, Mini had her life cut short because the Western Hunt was unnecessarily passing through the residential area where she lived. The hounds (who are trained to be blood thirsty) became ‘out of control’ and killed her. What followed was worse. The hunt master was then caught on video running over to scoop up Mini, and then launching her over a fence to get rid of the evidence.  

The problem with ‘trail-hunting’ being legal, is that the foxhounds are still being trained to be ‘killers’. The argument for trail-hunting rather than drag-hunting is that if the Hunting Act were to be repealed, the hounds would not then need to be re-trained, as they would have been following animal scents throughout the ban and will subsequently be ready to follow real animals if the Hunting Act gets repealed. Because of this, we see animals being killed despite the ban. Obviously, it is known that trail-hunting is simply a smokescreen, and so these hounds are no different to when fox hunting was legal; they are trained to follow animal scents and to kill any they encounter. Therefore, when they encountered Mini, they killed her as trained to do.

Carly, Mini’s owner, doesn’t blame the hounds as she is aware of the barbaric arrangement hunts have with their hounds and the cruelty that is also inflicted upon them to be used as ‘tools’ for this blood-sport. The hounds were only doing what they are trained to do, and if they don’t follow these orders, they can be killed.  

The actions of the hunt master caught on film throwing Mini over a fence has shocked many. His callous behaviour doesn’t come as a huge surprise because he partakes in fox hunting, but it comes as a real wakeup call that there are lots of people this cold-hearted running around the countryside with no remorse whatsoever for other creatures.  

The fault in the hunting worlds arguments that they care for their hounds can be evidenced through their treatment of all animals. This hunt master wasn’t just chasing wild foxes and using one of the many excuses such as they are ‘pests’, he was inflicting the same careless behaviour onto a domestic animal, which was someone's pet and in the society we live in unfortunately pets are classed as more precious.  

This therefore completely calls him and any hunters out for not actually having any regard for any animal, domestic or wild, and so makes it impossible for the hunting world to pretend that their hounds are loved. If someone can hurl the dead body of a pet cat over a fence, and watch wild animals be ripped apart, then they are certainly capable of mistreating other animals too. It is a fact that these people do not care about animals whatsoever, and evidently not about humans either, as this hunt-master left a devastated family including children, to deal with the aftermath of a traumatic experience.

The petition set up in response to this incident calls for new legislation (Public and Animal Safety Bill 2021) to be introduced ‘to ensure safety to the public and animals from hunting activity, such as trail hunts and exercise of hunting hounds’. This petition is important to try and prevent further instances like this from happening. All too often we see incidents involving ‘out of control hounds’ and domestic pets being killed, and this petition aims to put a stop to that.  

Mini's Law Petition

The petition is currently at just over 18,000 signature's and we are urging more people to sign to make a difference. It only takes a minute and is a really important cause. Mini the cat has left behind a heartbroken family, and anyone with a pet or respect for animals can only imagine what it would feel like to have this happen to them.  

Amy Schouwenburg

Head of Social Media