A Southend News Network investigation has revealed that a growing number of businesses are offering escorted trophy hunting trips throughout South Essex, with many residents reporting that their dogs and cats have ‘disappeared’ since the start of 2016.
It’s 2am on a warm Monday evening, and hunting specialist Gary Blown is escorting a London city trader (who asked to remain anonymous) around the notorious Kursaal Estate near the seafront. It soon emerged that his client was paying £25,000 for the chance to kill a domesticated pet cat, with a £5,000 bonus on offer if it had a collar on.
According to Gary, his efforts are vital to protect the population of cats in Southend, and he said: ‘Sustainability is at the centre of all conservation efforts, and by controlling the number of cats in South Essex we are ensuring that this species will have a future in the town.’
Shortly after these comments were made, a juvenile Maine Coon wandered up to Gary and his client who were hiding behind a buggy shelter outside the local community centre. While Gary dropped individual Dreamies from a brown paper bag, his client lined up his shot and it was all over in a split second.
Gary continued: ‘The Kursaal Estate is the prime location for this form of trophy hunting as any 2am gunshots can easily be passed off as a backfiring Ford Cortina.’
They walked up to their kill and removed his collar – the name ‘Colin’ was inscribed along with a phone number, and Gary made a brief call to find out where the body could be dropped off.
After his client managed to scare off some locals who were keen to harvest the tender meat of the animal, Colin was ceremoniously wrapped in a blanket and they proceeded to the twelfth floor address that was given over the telephone.
Shortly before arriving at the front door, Gary paused to comfort his client who had started crying uncontrollably. We stopped and asked some honest questions about the emotions that he was experiencing.
The trader said: ‘This is a heartbreaking thing to do, but I know deep down that the future of cats as an overall Essex species will benefit from my brave and courageous actions.’
It turned out that the deceased animal belonged to 45-year-old local animal welfare activist Dave ‘Duster’ Dobbs, and he took the news as well as could be expected.
He listened attentively to the whole story, and then lovingly placed Colin on the floor, before wrapping his arms around Gary and his client. Our microphone couldn’t pick up the conversation, but shortly after we heard ‘I know you done what you thought was right’ he lurched forward and pushed both of them off the balcony with an 80ft drop to the concrete below.
While urinating on them from this great height, he said: ‘My actions were vital to protect the long-term interests of the local population of tiny-dicked c**ts and commodities traders.’