Police decision to ram cow with car branded 'probably right' by Farmer's Union

The cow gets up after being struck and Kai Bennett
Kai Bennett witnessed the incident
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 18/06/2024

- 17:48

Beau Lucy was slammed 30ft across a residential road in Surrey

A Farmer's Union official has backed police who ran over an escaped calf.

Footage of the incident, which happened in Staines-upon-Thames, Surrey, was posted to social media and was met with widespread condemnation.

The police had claimed the calf was rammed because it was putting the public in danger. However, the incident has sparked a heated debate about animal cruelty.

The animal, named Beau Lucy, was thrown 30ft across a residential road following its escape from a nearby breeding farm.

Cow and policeShocking footage had emerged of the vehicle viciously ramming into the runaway calfUB1UB2

National Farmers’ Union’s South East livestock chairman Hugh Broom has said the police were right to as he said children's lives could be endangered.

Broom told BBC Radio Surrey: "While the whole thing looks horrendous, and it is for everyone, they probably did the right thing at the time. The other option is you shoot the animal. In that environment would you want to be using a rifle in a built-up area on a dark Friday night?

"God forbid it had gone the other way and the animal ran off and bumped into someone, sent a child flying, sent any person flying, [which is] perfectly possible, and they were seriously injured or worse.

"People would be saying: 'Why wasn’t the animal stopped?'"

WATCH: Kai Bennett speaks to Patrick Christys about the cow incident

Surrey Police confirmed the police officer who used his response car to ram the cow has been removed from frontline duties. Deputy Chief Constable Nev Kemp said: "I fully appreciate the distress our handling of this incident has caused and will ensure that it is thoroughly and diligently investigated.

"In addition to an internal referral to our Professional Standards Department, we have also referred the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) for independent consideration.

"At this time, the officer who was driving the police car has been removed from frontline duties pending the outcome of these investigations."

Home Secretary James Cleverly had asked for a "full, urgent explanation" as to why officers used the car to ram the escaped animal, saying it seemed "unnecessarily heavy-handed."

Cow on the loose in LondonThe cow was taken to a vet following the incidentUB1UB2

Beau Lucy’s owner, a farmer who would only give his name as Rob, described the incident as "quite horrific" and "wrong."

Rob, who would not be drawn on whether the officers involved should face any disciplinary action, suggested that a vet should have been involved in Beau Lucy’s rescue, which may have avoided causing her distress.

He said: "I think the video speaks for itself. It was quite horrific. The method of dealing with the situation was incorrect. It was wrong and I think that’s the message we’ve learned.

"I don’t understand why (the police) didn’t use a tranquilising dart. If they used a the animal would have calmed right down and gone over it if they needed to to get a halter on it or restrain it.

"I just think that there was poor communication, and they should have spoken to a vet really. If they did speak to a vet then surely it would have gone down the road of tranquillising."

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