One of the more lighthearted events this week took a dark turn on Tuesday as a cow that escaped from a field near Wyndham Park was shot by police.
The cow led members of the public and the police force as well as social media on a race around town before being trapped in the car park of Belton Lane Children’s Centre. As many of us were sharing jokes about the spectacle, police decided that the cow was a threat to public safety and had to be put down.
I’m not going to pretend I know the specifics of the situation. I don’t know how agitated the cow was throughout the chase or just how much damage it could have done if it charged and injured a human being. But I do feel there had to have been better ways to have dealt with it.
The cow was trapped in the car park for a long while with people saying that it was stood still for close to 10 minutes before finally being shot and killed. With this sort of time available, the police’s statement declaring the animal was still a threat to locals seems odd. I find it hard to believe it was much of a threat with a 20-metre exclusion zone around the car park.
While it would have been preferential to have caught the cow alive and returned it to the owner, I do understand the concern for public safety.
Furthermore, I would like to know why it took so long in order to come to a conclusion in either case. It appears the cow was leading a Keystone Cops-like police force around Grantham, which is reinforced by the fact that the specially trained marksmen missed their first shot on the motionless bovine.
However the ultimate decision was reached it is still sad to see a confused animal slaughtered in a primary school car park particularly when it appears to have been rushed.