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

Surrey’s 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.

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“At this time, the officer who was driving the police car has been removed from frontline duties pending the outcome of these investigations. I know there is much concern around the current welfare of the cow. She is now back with her owner and recuperating with her herd. She did sustain a large cut to one leg and cuts and grazes. She continues to be monitored by a vet and our rural officers are staying in contact with the owner for updates.” A previous statement from Surrey Police said: “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.

A still from a video uploaded by X account UB1UB2 West London (Southall) of a cow being rammed by a police car in Feltham on June 14, 2024.A still from a video uploaded by X account UB1UB2 West London (Southall) of a cow being rammed by a police car in Feltham on June 14, 2024.
A still from a video uploaded by X account UB1UB2 West London (Southall) of a cow being rammed by a police car in Feltham on June 14, 2024. | UB1UB2 West London (Southall)

“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.”

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" 

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.”

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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”.

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