1st January 2020
A seven-month-old kitten was allegedly ‘ripped to pieces’ during an ‘illegal fox hunt’ on Christmas Eve.
Bits of fur were all that was left of a ginger and white cat named Tiger after he was attacked by hounds from Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt in a ‘barbaric’ incident in Scarcroft, West Yorkshire, it’s claimed.
Footage shows dogs said to be from the Bramham Hunt allegedly chasing a fox through woodland on December 24 on the Bramham Estate, the park where Leeds Festival is held every year.
Luke Steele, an independent hunt monitor who filmed the footage, said: ‘The hunt was going through there in the morning, chased the fox and we filmed them chasing the fox out to the woodland.
‘The fox went to the ground in a badger sett and the huntsman obviously came along and the hounds were trying to dig the fox out.’
After the incident, Luke says he phoned Bramham Estate Resident Agent Nick Pritchard at 2pm to inform him the law had been broken and ask him to disband the hunt.
However, it is said to have continued onto the land of the Hellwood Racing Stables in Scarcroft where the seven-month-old kitten Tiger was allegedly torn to pieces by hounds.
The young cat lived at Cat Action Trust 1977 Leeds for eight weeks before he was adopted with his brother Felix on August 9.
Branch leader Shelia Pickersgill told Metro.co.uk: ‘The owner found the cat. The dogs came through and the cat was found all over the place.
‘All that’s left of him is bits of fur everywhere.
‘It’s disgusting that this goes on in this day and age. It’s barbaric.’
Mr Steele added that it was ‘absolutely sickening to see a fox being chased to exhaustion by a pack of baying hounds across Bramham Park, an area popular with festival-goers who would be horrified to learn of the cruelty inflicted on hunted wildlife at the venue’.
The master’s student has called on local landowners, including Mr Pritchard, to no longer welcome the hunt onto their property.
He said: ’The Hunting Act is clear that landowners have a responsibility to ensure wildlife is not chased or killed by hounds on their land and those facilitating hunting could easily find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
‘Bramham Park should now fulfil its obligation to prevent wildlife crime and maintain strong community relations by no longer inviting the hunt in light of the events on Christmas Eve.’
A spokesperson from the Badsworth and Bramham Hunt said: ‘The Hunt were in the vicinity on the 24th December and are aware that a young cat went missing.
‘Hunt officials are liaising with the owner at this difficult and sensitive time.’
The owner of the kitten and Mr Pritchard declined to comment.