Thursday 16 September 2010

Police shoot horse's leg off?!

I'm seeing alarming reports about the way police in Yorkshire killed two horses that had broken loose near Dunnington.

Eyewitness accounts suggest firearms officers chased the horses in 4x4s, and stood on the vehicle roofs firing 'cowboy & indian style'. One horse was, it's claimed, shot 19 times. Here is a report from a local resident who claims to have witnessed the shooting:

"The police had not been there all day, they turned up at around 4.30pm, the first horse was shot, the second a chestnut pony which was not wild (just petrified) was chased around until it was shattered and could have been easily caught, to the police it was like fun target practice stood on top of their 4x4's like dukes of hazzard, one marksman shot the horses in its rear leg off above the hock, shattering the leg into pieces, the horses leg was hanging off, the horse got up in sheer distress, this horse must have been in absolute agony, then another markman shot its other front leg clean off, the horse still struggling about, then got shot another 19 times, the last shot in the horses head, some 25 mins after its back leg was shot to pieces."

I do hope the reports are exaggerated - and I'd very much like to hear from any readers in the area who have any information, photos, video etc.

UPDATE: I see there's plenty of discussion of this on various forums, including some people who drop hints that they're in the know and then back off quick with the excuse it could get them into trouble. If you've got the facts, and won't share them, you can hardly blame the dastardly press for not having the facts now, can you?! For the record, I'm happy to be briefed 'off the record' - you'll not find anyone who ever gave me info on those terms who I've subsequently dropped in it!


Meconopsis said...

What calibre of rifle was used and where did all the stray bullets end up ??

James Marchington said...

These are the same people who tell us what calibre rifles we can and can't have for foxes and deer

Holly Heyser said...

That's scary on so many levels - particularly risk to bystanders. But it's also just a really gross thing to do to a couple of animals.

vicky said...

I hope this isn't true. Very sad if it is. In fact, I'd like to see the RSPCA prosecute them!

I was involved in the killing of a cow by a rifle once. The cow had gone crazy and was dangerous and could not be penned. We drove as close as possible in a landrover then the shooter, an experienced stalker dropped her with one bullet to the heart. Police marksman are not necessarily trained to kill animals; surely a stalker should have been called in if this was felt to be the only way to proceede.

James Marchington said...

You're not wrong Vicky. In my experience, police firearms officers are not the sort of people I'd trust with guns, far too excitable and gung-ho - but then I suspect their training is more SAS than Dock Green. Whenever I've seen them, they've been the biggest danger to the public for miles around.
This sort of incident would be much better handled by an experienced stalker, if killing was really necessary.

Anonymous said...

Contrary to all the reports, I can confirm that the horses leg was not "shot off", it did have leg damage but all 4 legs were present on the horse. I do not want to into too many details. It has been blown way out of proportion. Reports are being greatly exaggerated and everybody and their grandmother are now involving themselves with this when it has nothing to do with them. Police did what they thought best at the time, did they handle it correctly? It could have been done better but the comments pages of the local rag are full of people with axes to grind against the police and people pushing an animal rights agenda. Sorry I chose to publish comment anonymously but I have an involvement (non police)and I wanted to correct some misinformation.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

The guys in the riot squad like a bundle
The guys in the serious fraud squad like nit-picking detail.
The guys in the antique squad like antiques
And the armed response guys like an......


Richard Taylor said...

I have written an F.O.I. request to the North Yorkshire police to try and find out actually what went on as it may make a very interesting story. It seems they may have acted in a way which had a farmer or licenced shooter acted similarly, they would likely have been prosecuted (either by the police or the RSPCA)