Calls for investigation after police car strikes loose cow

Police car strikes loose cow in Staines-upon-Thames

9 minutes agoBy Bob Dale, BBC News, South EastAmarjit KharaudThe video shows a cow apparently running loose in a west London street

Warning: This article contains images that some people may find distressing

The RSPCA has said the police response to a loose cow, which saw the animal struck twice by a response vehicle in Surrey, “appears disproportionate”.

Footage shared online shows a marked vehicle ramming into the cow, which appears to be stunned and tries to get to its feet before being hit a second time.

Home Secretary James Cleverly said he would be asking for an urgent explanation, describing the actions as “heavy handed”.

Ch Insp Adam Tatton, of Surrey Police, said: “We know that this has caused some distress within the local community.”

The force confirmed the incident took place in Staines-upon-Thames shortly before 21:00 BST on Friday evening.

It said officers responding “were extremely concerned about the public’s safety, and over a period of a number of hours tried a number of options to safely capture the cow”.

In a 26-second video, witnesses and bystanders can be heard reacting in shock as the cow is struck by the police vehicle.

The RSPCA said: “Surrey Police has referred themselves to their own professional standards department and to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

“We support this as the action appears disproportionate to the situation. We are happy to assist in any investigations carried out.”

Amarjit KharaudSocial media footage showed an escaped cow hit twice by a police vehicle

Surrey Police said it had received reports a cow was “running loose”.

It said: “The cow ran onto a number of main roads and caused traffic disruption within the local area.

“Whilst attempting to move the cow to safety, it became increasingly distressed and was injured.”

It said the animal had been seen by a vet and was receiving treatment for a large cut to its leg.

‘Unnecessarily heavy handed’

Mr Cleverly, writing on X, said: “I can think of no reasonable need for this action.

“I’ve asked for a full, urgent explanation for this.

“It appears to be unnecessarily heavy handed.”

Wildlife activist and presenter Chris Packham said: “I don’t know where to start with this.

“But it’s surely illegal and must be investigated and prosecuted.

“What sort of monster rams a calf? Twice?”

Ch Insp Tatton added: “Our priority when responding to any incident is first and foremost the safety of the public.”

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