Police officers battered a badly injured deer with a crowbar. But they will not be sacked despite being found guilty of gross misconduct.
Originally, they were sent to look at the injured deer. However, the animal managed to stand up. After contacting an animal welfare expert, they were advised them to leave the deer alone.
After receiving another report two days later, they were sent to look at the same deer and found its condition had deteriorated significantly. They believed the animal to be already dead, having showing no signs of movement. And yet one of the two men hit the animal several times.
If the deer was dead, why did they bash it? That seems senseless unless they wanted the satisfaction of brutality. In my opinion, they wanted to end the animal's suffering and gave a false statement.
The panel "accepted evidence that the animal was fatally ill, would not have survived and that without action the animal would have suffered unnecessarily".
The court found heir actions "were not borne from cruelty", but said the deer should have been killed with a firearm.
The officers, who will remain on a final written warning for 18 months, were moved to a response unit in the force following the incident, where they will remain. See The Telegraph story.
But, if the animal was near to death, why didn't they leave nature to take its course?
My own action as a young woman could have been just as bad. What happened in the mid sixties remains clear to me, yet I know I should have left the creature to the fate it faced.
Our cat, Simba, an otherwise adorable Siamese, had brought home a live field-mouse rather than a limp body. And, as cats do, he threw his prey into the air, caught it several times, and then held the motionless mouse under his paw. I called out, hoping to stop the game. However, Simba lifted his paw, allowed the mouse to run, and then pounced again. Over and over. My yelling did no good. The mouse staggered and ran sideways, bleeding from the neck, obviously injured. How long would the mouse need to suffer?
I can't remember if I tried to grab the wily cat. That's what I should have done. But the poor mouse would not have recovered.
Whimpering with pity for the tiny creature, I looked around for some way to help—to stop its pain. The flimsy stick I found did no good to end it's misery. But, I didn't strike hard enough and the mouse staggered a few more steps. May God forgive me, I landed several more desperate blows until it lay motionless, wishing I'd never started on the course of action that could only end one way.
Weighed down with guilt and the horror of my actions, I sobbed.
I'd made the whole situation worse for the mouse. If only I'd left the animals to their fate. The cat couldn't be blamed for behaving in a natural manner, the mouse hadn't asked for help. The only guilty one was me.
I learned several lessons that day. Number one: I was flawed just like every human. Number two: Each creature is precious. Number three: Don't start a course of action unless you plan to finish. I only hope the Great Judge will issue a lenient sentence to me.