A FAMILY was devastated after their beloved pet cat was mauled to death by a pack of hounds near Newcestown.
The cat, which its owners had since it was a kitten, was savagely killed by the dogs as they passed through a nearby farmyard in Mossgrove last Sunday week while hunting.
The animal’s owner, Michael Scanlon, said it had been very upsetting and he has called for hunting groups to give advance notice before they arrive in an area.
Since hunting season opened on November 1st, this is a common Sunday afternoon activity in many areas throughout West Cork.
Michael said: ‘I have no problem with people hunting, but there needs to be some law and order regulation around it. Locals should be asked for their permission and advance notice should be given so that people can look after their animals in a proper way and have them inside.’
The Irish Hunting Association said the protocol for all their constituents, including the Irish Foot Harriers Association, is for permission to be expressed or implied by the landowner.
Michael and his wife initially thought their pet was missing, but a neighouring farmer discovered him in his yard on Monday morning.
He claimed: ‘Such was the lack of control over the dogs that one dog jumped out over the fence on to the road near the old Mossgrove Creamery and was fatally injured by a passing car, and in the collision caused damage to the car, as well as much distress to the driver. Proper traffic management needs to be in place to let motorists know that these dogs will be crossing the road.’
He said he was still trying to establish the identity of the group that was hunting.
A member of Mossgrove Harriers said they were not hunting last Sunday and added that the area was popular with many groups and individuals who come from as far away as Carrigtwohill to hunt.
Photographs of the family pet, seen by The Southern Star, show the cat was viciously attacked on its neck and mauled to death. The majority of the photographs were not suitable for publication.
Jennifer Headlam of the West Cork Animal Welfare Group said they were aware of incidents like this happening in the region and joined Michael in the call for advance notice of hunting activities.