On 6th March 2021 Mini the cat was killed by out-of-control hunting hounds outside her home in west Cornwall. After the mauling, the huntsman was filmed throwing Mini’s lifeless body over a neighbour’s fence in a cowardly attempt to hide the evidence.

Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident and there are many incidents involving hunts causing carnage to domestic animals and the public. A Protect the Wild report found that as of March 2021 there was on average one reported incident every two weeks involving hunts terrorising domestic animals or livestock.

Legislation should be introduced to prohibit any activity involving hunting hounds, such as trail hunts and hound exercise, taking place in a residential area or any other public place. This is why we launched the Mini’s Law campaign (Public and Animal Safety Bill 2021) to ensure safety to the public and animals from all hunting activities.




The Mini’s Law campaign was seen by literally millions of people. It shone a light on the reckless and arrogant behaviour of not just the Western Hunt but on many other incidents involving hunts and domestic animals. The UK Government petition provided the vehicle for an important conversation to be started and led to a debate in Parliament in 2022. While the debate may not have resulted in immediate legislative change it will prove vital in our ongoing efforts to strengthen the Hunting Act and better protect both domestic and wild animals.

The guilty conviction of John Sampson was also hugely significant. Edie Bowles, a solicitor for Advocates for Animals told us that although the appeal’s rejection won’t be binding for future judgements, it is nonetheless persuasive. She said:

“This case sends a very clear signal to any hunter engaging in reckless and unlawful activities. The judge has sent an unequivocal message to hunters that hounds should be under control and that failing to adhere to this will likely result in a conviction.

Time and time again, hunts get away with killing animals and assaulting the activists trying to stop their illegal hunting. Sampson’s appeal rejection does, at least, give us a glimmer of hope that the hunts aren’t as untouchable as they like to think. Time will tell whether we see more hunt masters facing court for the same charge.

Campaign timeline

6th March 2021
Mini the cat killed by the Western Hunt
29th April 2021
UK petition set up calling for Mini’s Law
29th October 2021
UK petition reaches 100,000 and secures Parliamentary debate
10th December 2021
Western Hunt master John Sampson was found guilty of being in charge of at least one dangerously out of control dog
25th April 2022
John Sampson has his conviction appeal rejected
25th April 2022
Parliament debates the Mini’s Law petition


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