Farmers Weekly launches big cat hunt

Farmers Weekly is giving readers the chance to have their say on one of the most controversial issues in the countryside – big cats.

Some people are convinced they’re living – and breeding – wild in Britain. Others are adamant they’re not and dismiss reported sightings out of hand.

Farmers Weekly wants to hear readers’ views. Perhaps you’ve seen one, or seen evidence of one on your farm? Or maybe you are sceptical of claims they exist?

It’s already proving a source of lively debate on our website forums.

Dave5465 says: “In the past, I’ve done my share of being sceptical of sightings, until a few years ago, when I was returning home in the middle of the night (no, it wasn’t on my way home from the pub). When I turned the corner at the bottom of our road, crouched in the middle of the road and startled by my headlights, was a full-grown lynx. If anyone had told me they had seen it, I would have laughed – but there was no mistaking it. It came up in conversation a few months ago with a retired farmer who used to live just down the road and he reminded me of a story I overheard my parents telling 30-odd years ago. He’d shot a big cat in his barn early one morning but daren’t report it as he didn’t have a licence for his gun at the time. The animal he described was exactly the same as the one I saw about four years ago. It suggests to me that they are breeding out there, because if it had been a pair of them that someone had turned out when the Dangerous Animals Act came into force, surely the other one would have died before I saw it four years ago? Every time I come around that corner late at night now, I’m expecting to see it again.”

Meanwhile, 2601051 says: “How come no-one has ever found a dead one? As for comments about the authorities hushing them up, I’ll file that one with Prince Philip murdering Diana and NASA faking the moon landings.”

If you feel strongly on the subject, add your comments to forums or email them to