UK government rejects a law which would prevent foxhunting near residential areas

NEWS AND COMMENT: You may remember the death of a tortoiseshell cat called Mini. She was killed by foxhounds who were being exercised in Madron, near Penzance, UK in March 2021. As I recall she was sitting on a fence and very hounds charged through the residential area where she lived.

RELATED: Foxhounds Charge Into Cat Sanctuary. Ten Cats Missing


Mini RIP. Photo: Carly Jose

The hunt master in charge at that time, John Sampson, 55, was convicted in December of being in charge of dogs that were dangerously out of control and his appeal against his sentence was rejected at Truro Crown Court. He was fined £480 and ordered to pay £350 compensation to Mini’s owner Ms Jose. That, by the way, gives an idea as to the value of a non-purebred cat although the compensation would have included other costs perhaps such as veterinary or cremation costs. In other words, courts don’t put a huge value on non-purebred domestic cats.

As a result of Mini’s death by foxhounds the owner set up a petition which achieved over one hundred thousand signatures which requested that the UK government create a new law called Mini’s Law (Public and Animal Safety Bill 2021) to prevent foxhounds being driven through residential and public areas in order to ensure the safety of the public and their companion animals.

Mini was thrown over a fence to allegedly hide her body

Mini was thrown over a fence to allegedly hide her body. Photo: Charlie Knight.

The number of signatures demanded that the UK government debate the petition which happened on April 25, 2022. The UK government rejected the demands of the petition. In essence, they stated that the current laws deal with the sort of situation that resulted in Mini’s death.

Comment: the government is incorrect in my opinion. The two laws that they quoted which deal with the situation are reactive and the petition was asking for a proactive law which prevented injury or death to a cat by hounds.

The UK government state that “The police can take action under the Dogs Act 1871 where dogs are out of control and dangerous to other animals. This Government will not amend the Hunting Act.”.

They also stated that the Hunting Act 2004 makes it an offence to hunt a wild mammal with dogs except when it is conducted in accordance with the exemptions under the Act. You can see these exemptions by clicking on the link: The enforcement of the Hunting Act is carried out by the police. The government’s response was that “This government will not amend the Hunting Act”.

Further comment: the Conservatives are currently in power in the UK. They tend to support foxhunting or they don’t want to upset the Countryside Alliance and the toffs in the country you like to kill foxes for fun. Although of course foxhunting with dogs is prohibited in the UK nowadays. Instead, they trail hunt but it is alleged that foxhunting still takes place under the radar under the pretext that they are trail hunting.

But this Conservative government don’t want to upset the foxhunting and countryside people because they represent them in Parliament. And therefore, there was little chance that this suggested amendment to the existing law, which I think is very wise, sensible and proactive, as mentioned, would pass into law. This government disappoints on animal welfare.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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3 Responses

  1. tamara beinlich says:

    There’s a video where they have a bunch of baby foxes in a bin outside and a man comes out picks one up by the back of the neck, then he carries it inside and you can hear the hounds just screaming. A few minutes later he bring out the bloody dead body of the poor baby fox and tosses it in the garbage bin. I cried while watching how cruel it was. But a Saboteur got it all on video. By the time the cops came out to investigate all the baby foxes about 4 were already dead but in a barn hidden in the back were 6 more! Along with 4 adults. They were breeding them so the dogs could kill the babies! Horrible people breaking the law and killing innocent foxes for fun!!! Disgusting and ugly.

  2. tamara beinlich says:

    How horrible. I thought foxhunting was illegal in the UK so why do they have the “pretend hunts” I remember watching the “Saboteurs” at one hunt and the hounds had a fox and a lady ran into the pack and saved the fox. It was the bravest thing I’d ever seen.

    • Yes, they have pretend hunts in order to satisfy the countryside folk who simply can’t give up foxhunting. But unfortunately, they use these pretend hunts to do real hunts sometimes. Which is why the saboteurs are there to keep an eye on them. They are an untrustworthy lot and one administrator was caught discussing how to circumvent the law and carry out real foxhunting under cover of drag hunting. He was prosecuted successfully. It just goes to prove that they cannot give up this barbaric pastime. I hate the lot of them.

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