A family has been left heartbroken as "out of control" hunting dogs killed their defenceless pet cat.
The High Peak Hunt from Bakewell, Derbyshire, "apologised unreservedly" over the tragedy and promised to review their procedures after admitting responsibility.
Cat owner Rebecca Bingham said her moggie Spider "didn't stand a chance" when the hounds set upon her and caught her underneath a car.
Rebecca told the Derbyshire Times: "Before she had a chance to move, one of the dogs jumped on the wall she was sat on.
"She then dodged and hid underneath the car, but it crawled under after her, brought her out, clamped its jaws around her stomach and shook her like a rag doll.
"By the time we managed to get the dog to release her, she was gasping for air, and within a minute she had passed away."
Grieving Rebecca added that the hunting dogs had been a "frequent problem" in the local area, but she had not managed to get anywhere by speaking to the riders.
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A spokesperson for the hunt said: "The hunt is aware of events that took place on Tuesday, December 29 while the hounds were being walked out in an area where they are routinely exercised without incident by the professional hunt staff.
“The hunt has been in contact with the cat owner and apologised unreservedly for the distress this has caused.
“Incidents of this nature involving hounds are incredibly rare due to the professionalism with which the hounds are handled in kennels and throughout their lives, however the hunt has taken this matter very seriously and is reviewing their procedures to prevent any recurrence.”
Anti-hunt campaigners the Derby Hunt Saboteurs said the distressing incident proved how dangerous the practice is.
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