Surrey police cow: Force under fire for driving into runaway farm animal

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The home secretary has demanded an “urgent explanation” as to why police rammed a runaway cow with their car - twice.

Police say that just before 9pm last night, they were called about the escaped bovine, which was running amok in Feltham, west London.

A statement from Surrey Police says: “The cow was running loose throughout the evening on a number of main roads and during this time, we received numerous calls from the public reporting a car being damaged and it running at members of the public.

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“Given these reports, officers 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. Unfortunately, these were unsuccessful, and the decision was made to stop it using a police car.”

Video shot by local residents shows the cow being rammed twice by the police car.

The statement continues to say that the cow was moved to a nearby farm, has been assessed by and is under the care of a vet, and that the owner has been found. Police say that the animal “sustained a large cut to its leg” presumably, although this is not made clear, from being hit by the police vehicle.

Surrey Police’s Chief Inspector Sam Adcock said: "I know that this has caused distress and I'd like to thank the community for their concern. The decision to use the police car is one that was only taken after other methods to stop the cow had failed. There will be an investigation into the actions that led to this, but our focus at all times is on ensuring the safety of the public. I know there are videos circulating of this incident, which the public may find distressing. I would ask that these videos as sent directly to us to help with our investigation" 

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Home secretary James Cleverly shared the video and said on X: “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.”

The video has caused outrage on X, with users saying “For real, this could have been done safely. No need to be brutal like that. What a joke.” and “I haven’t seen a video that’s made me this angry in a very long time, this is needless animal cruelty, I would rightly be put in prison if I did the same thing to any of my animals”

Surrey Police say that its Professional Standards Department will look into the incident, and that watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct has been notified and a voluntary referral will be made.

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