Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Mouse club

Leeds-RSPCA officials in the northern city of Leeds are tonight warning promoters and practitioners of the gruesome new sport of mouse boxing that they are willing to prosecute all participants to the full extent of the law.

Officials first became aware that mouse fights were taking place in the city when the battered bodies of defeated mice began turning up on the city's streets.
At first city health officials assumed the tiny rodents had died of cat related trauma but that soon changed when one young mouse was found struggling up the steps of the city's RSPCA office
covered in tiny bruises, wearing gloves and a flimsy head protector made from the cap of a one litre Coke bottle.

Siegfried Sassoon of the RSPCA'S elite mouse protection unit told me of the troubling rise in gladiatorial mouse combat "I've been with the RSPCA for over forty years now. When I first started on the job you would hardly see mouse fighting it was mostly cock fighting, but since they changed the laws on what two consenting adult males can do in the privacy of their own homes that is no longer the business of the RSPCA.
The majority of these fights are held in isolated lock ups or the back rooms of pubs, the really vicious thing about these fights is that there are no rules and the furry contestants are made to fight to the bitter end.
You wouldn't think a mouse punch could do a lot of damage, but it's all relative and I defy anyone to take the kind of punishment these little fellows take over a six hour period and then tell me it's a harmless sport, it's just barbaric."

In the past three years more than forty men from the Leeds area have been arrested and handed custodial sentences ranging from six months to seven years for varying degrees of involvement within this rapidly growing subculture.

News direct decided to send me undercover into the seedy world of mouse fighting to see how much I could uncover about this most gruesome of sports.
I let it be known among the pubs and clubs of the dangerous Chapeltown area of Leeds that I was a big fish in the London mouse world, up from the smoke with a furry young prospect in dire need of the right kind of training.

It was not long after putting the word out on the street that I was approached by an associate of Reggie Braithwaite, who is known throughout the city as the Don king of the unlicenced mouse fighting world.
The associate let it be known that Braithwaite was amenable to taking a look at my young prospect if I agreed to abide by Braithwaite's strict security precautions and also give the associate two pounds sixty five, so he could buy ten cigarettes, I of course willingly agreed to these terms.
I was then blindfolded, bundled into a car and taken by a convoluted route to Braithwaite's illegal mouse gym, which I later found out was located above a run down pet shop called Mickey's, in the Chapeltown area of the city.

The unmistakable stench of mouse sweat hit my nostrils immediately and even before they removed my dirty blindfold, I knew that this was a very serious operation.
When they did eventually remove my blindfold the sight that greeted my shocked eyes will remain with me to my dying day. There were mice everywhere, mice in hamster wheels, mice on specially made little bikes, mice lifting weights and there at the centre of all this frenzied activity stood the portly, gold covered figure of Reggie Braithwaite.

Braithwaite beckoned me over, he was stood before a miniature boxing ring made from a shoe box and string, watching two young mice spar.
"Looks like that little bloke will be a champion one day." he said pointing a fat finger at the heavily muscled tiny athlete dancing Ali like around the small ring.
"My associate tells me you have a young prospect you want me to look at."
I nodded and removed the mouse, which I had bought earlier for twenty five pence from a reputable pet shop, from my jacket pocket and handed him delicately to Braithwaite.
Braithwaite took him from me and cast an expert eye over the light brown prospect "Not bad, he's a little skinny, but six weeks in the gym should sort that out, It wont be cheap though you want the best you have got to pay for the best."
I assured Braithwaite that money was no object and inquired as to what it would cost me to turn my mouse into a champion.
Braithwaite hung the mouse upside down from its tail and said "Looking at him, I think I could have him ready for his first fight in around six months, if he comes through that okay, you'd be looking at anything from a year to two years before he would be ready to fight for a championship, I'll do it for six quid, cash mind!"
I told Braithwaite that I would have to speak to my backers and the mouse's co-owners before we could agree to that sort of time commitment and financial outlay, I then asked to be escorted from the premises.

After my shocking introduction to the world of unlicenced mouse fighting it is easy to see why the local authorities are trying their utmost to stamp out this brutal sport.
I passed all the information gathered during my investigation on to the local RSPCA and was later pleased to learn that armed RSPCA officers had raided Braithwaite's gym and rescued over two thousand mice from a short and brutal life as rodent warriors.

1 comment:

G R Klein said...

Thank God for the RSPCA it beggars belief to think that someone could be so sadistic and cruel to organise these foul spectacles where are fury brethren are slaughtered for the amusement of the masses. Thank you good sir for bringing this despicable practice to our attention and I look forward to the day when the vile promoters of these preposterous events serve their time at her majesty's expense.