Ever since there has been interaction between man and animal some humans have taken delight in killing animals. Historically animals have been killed in self-protection and for food. As man became ever more dominant over the animal kingdom so he also took to killing animals for the sheer fun of it.
Killing animals for amusement became an art-form with the development of the bloodsports. The various forms were linked to the dominance of empires and the species of animal available to be played with.
It is sad that when man was gifted complete dominance over the rest of the animal kingdom on this planet he chose to exploit that dominance not only by killing and eating whatever he could but also by destroying the homes of other creatures, laying their habitat to waste and even killing them just for entertainment. Dominance could have meant us playing the role of the good shepherd but instead we have chosen to be vindictive tyrants.
The common theme in all bloodsports is a love of bullying. The animal has very little chance and the pleasure for the human bloodsports enthusiast comes from watching the animal twist and turn in frantic efforts to save its life and ultimately in taking that life. A few of the humans attending experience a real high from the moment of the kill. They can whoop and shriek with glee over the kill. Some have even admitted that for them playing with an animal to the point of its death is "better than sex".
In Anglo-Saxon Britain the use of sight hounds was popular. When the Norman French invaded Britain and King Harold lost the Battle of Hastings the French conquerors brought with them their love of hound sports and imposed them on the defeated British. A few of the British took to these hound sports and developed and extended them over the coming centuries.
Otterhunting was the first of the hound sports and was followed by foxhunting, harehunting, staghunting and finally by minkhunting. Feudal arrangements were such that these were imposed on the rural population.