Gatineau Cow Shooting: Quebec Police Defend Fatal Shooting Of Cattle Caught On Video

First Posted: 11/01/2011 10:46 pm EDT Updated: 04/05/2013 11:44 am EDT

GATINEAU, Que. - A senior police officer in Gatineau, Que., is defending the fatal police shooting of two cattle last week, saying a video that captured the incident and was posted online _ does not show the whole story.

In an open letter to the media issued Tuesday, deputy police Chief Luc Beaudoin says his officers killed the animals because they were threatening the public.

The video, recorded by a horrified witness, showed police cars, with lights and sirens going, chasing and surrounding one of the animals as officers fired at least 10 shots from close range.

The video has been seen more than 254,000 times on YouTube by viewers from around the world, stirring accusations that the Gatineau police lacked compassion for the animals and used excessive cruelty.

Beaudoin acknowledged that the public is questioning why police didn't use tranquilizers or corral the animals that were already destined for the slaughterhouse when they escaped from a trailer last Thursday.

But he says the video is 77 seconds long and does not reflect the reality of the intervention, which lasted more than an hour, during which, he says, police consulted with the animals' owner and other cattle breeders in an effort to calm the animals and isolate them.

"An hour during which every attempt failed, and during which one of the animals, who may not have appeared dangerous to witnesses who had not seen the preceding 60 minutes, charged vehicles, moved a trailer by its sheer physical strength, and managed to once again escape, right there in the city near a school and busy roads."

Beaudoin also says police contacted wildlife officers "who unfortunately were unable to assist us."

He says the police are trained to protect the public and "while none of them wants to see an animal suffer, public safety must be the primary consideration."

Beaudoin says the Gatineau police service has launched an administrative investigation, which is standard whenever an officer uses a gun.

He says the investigation's recommendations will be reviewed, adding "we all stand to learn something from this unfortunate event."

The animals' deaths have prompted a letter-writing campaign, organized by Canadians for Ethical Treatment of Food Animals, that targets the Gatineau police force.

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  • Ag-Gag Laws

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  • Antibiotic Use

    The image you see here, provided by <a href="">Mercy For Animals</a>, is just a small snapshot of the disgusting conditions animals are forced to endure at factory farms. Because of the filth, the animals are given antibiotics to prevent disease (which doesn't really work). Often, antibiotics are also given to promote unnatural growth. This in turn is making human illness harder to treat because of new strains of <a href="">antibiotic-resistant bacteria.</a>

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    According to a report done by the Humane Society entitled <a href="">"The Impact of Industrialized Animal Agriculture On World Hunger,"</a> nearly 80 percent of the world's soybeans and up to 50 percent of the world's corn are fed to animals killed for meat instead of directly to humans. Animal agriculture is inefficient from a world hunger perspective because we are feeding our livestock food that could be used for humans.

  • Worker Concern

    Many people don't realize that animal agriculture is one of the worst industries from a worker health perspective. <a href="">According to OSHA,</a> hazards from factory farming jobs can include everything from chronic pain to cardiovascular illness and death. Many of the workers are also undocumented, leading to a situation in which they are fearful of reporting their illness or injury and therefore do not receive treatment. <a href="">Human Rights Watch</a> calls worker conditions in factory farms "systematic human rights abuses."

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  • Unsanitary Conditions

    Would you want to eat pork from this farm? If pigs on our factory farms are turning green and being dumped into buckets (image courtesy of <a href="">Mercy For Animals</a>), then it means our current methods aren't working. You don't have to be a vegetarian to understand that conditions like these are harmful to everyone: the animals, people and the environment.

  • Systematic Animal Rights Abuses

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  • Learn More & Get Involved

    Regardless of what diet you choose, factory farming is bad for everyone. To learn more about how to get involved visit <a href="">Mercy For Animals</a>.


Filed by Christian Cotroneo  |