By Ruth aka Kattaddorra
‘The Hunting Act 2004 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which bans the hunting of wild mammals (notably foxes, deer, hares and mink) with dogs in England and Wales; the Act does not cover the use of dogs in the process of flushing out an unidentified wild mammal, nor does it affect drag hunting, where hounds are trained to follow an artificial scent’¹
The League Against Cruel Sports now have a Crimewatch page where anyone can report crimes committed against animals by hunters. I was glad to see this and had a look at the contact page which states:
“Use the form below to report any kind of wildlife crime you come across. From organised hunting to dog fighting, from badger persecution to having trouble with your local shoot. Every piece of information is important
Please state what type of incident you are reporting. What species of animal does the incident relate to…..”
The drop down box listed:
Hang on…..DOG isn’t wild life and more importantly, where is CAT?
No, cats are not wild life either, although in a way they are classed as so because the Road Traffic Act says accidents involving dogs must be reported, yet accidents involving cats, just like accidents involving wild life, don’t have to be reported.
So, I contacted the League:
‘Hello, I’m wondering why it is, on your website for reporting wild life crimes, on the contact form with the drop down box there are species listed to choose from, including DOG….. but not CAT. Many times we hear of cats attacked and torn to bits by hounds out with hunters, often on their owners property, in their gardens. I don’t think cats should come under ‘other’ Surely a cat attacked and killed by hounds is as serious a crime as it is them killing a dog or any other species. I’m a supporter of the League, always have been but I’m also a member of Cats Protection and upset that it seems they aren’t deemed as important as other animals.’
I was very pleased with their reply:
‘Hi Ruth, Thank you for your message. You make a very valid point! We, unfortunately, receive too many reports of domestic cats being killed by out of control hounds.
I think maybe we had cat under ‘other’ as we receive a lot of specific reports regarding mistreatment of hunting hounds etc. and that is what the dog column is for. However I spoke to one of my colleagues and we both agreed that cats should have their own category and so we have amended the form to reflect the concerns in your message. If you go back to the form it should now appear.
Thank you for getting in touch and highlighting this to us, we really appreciate the feedback.
The list now reads:
I thanked them, of course, on behalf of all cat lovers. A good result.
Cats need more protection than they have, they can’t speak for themselves so we must do it on their behalf.
Ruth aka Kattaddorra