Oh, and that phrase:Perhaps you need to buy your
The police chief who investigated the killing of two horses by police marksmen near York has said lessons should be learned from the incident.Yes, it's that infamous incident.
Following the outcry, Chief Supt McMillan investigated police tactics.Given that those 'attempts to corral the horses' were - according to commenters to the original article - made by people who didn't know what the hell they were doing, it's hardly surprising.
He said it was clear from public and police reports that “the public were in danger from the horses straying on to nearby A and B roads”, and attempts to corral the horses had failed.
The report said: “Expert advice was taken from two specialist equine vets...Really? Yet at least one of those vets wasn't at the scene at the time of the shooting. Having left quickly, no doubt once he realised what was about to happen...
...and the considered decision was made that the horses posed a very real and serious threat to public safety, particularly to those travelling on the nearby A1079.”And a police force that closes the road for the slightest little thing or road traffic accident wasn't about to do so here? Something stinks, frankly...
And nothing stinks worse than the account of the operation:
Chief Supt McMillan confirmed 18 shots were fired at the first horse, 15 from “a significant distance”, with officers climbing on to a police vehicle for a better angle.Pretty much every rule of humanely shooting animals broken there, surely? Insufficient calibre to kill cleanly, fired from too great a distance to be effective, at a moving target.
He said: “Due to the demeanour of the first horse it was not possible for rifle officers to come closer than 300 metres, thus all but three of the 18 shots were made at significant distance with a small sight picture of an animal moving erratically and at speed.”
Inadequate weapons, inadequate marksmen. All things that, were you hunting game in any civilised country, would get you prosecuted by the RSPCA or game wardens, and drummed out of any hunting fraternity you might belong to.
“After the first two shots, the first horse had not fallen to the ground so it became imperative to despatch it as soon as possible to prevent unnecessary suffering. This involved an additional 13 shots at distance, utilising the raised vantage point on the back of the police 4x4 vehicle to ensure the shots were fired downwards to maximise public safety.”Hang on a minute! This operation was authorised - despite the known problems - because the police feared the horses would run onto the busy nearby motorway, or in some other way 'endanger the public', wasn't it?
At no time did anyone consider that their main fear was actually made far more likely by a fusillade of inadequate gunfire and panicked, injured animals?
When officers approached the fallen horse, they realised it was still alive, so three more shots were fired.Jesus wept! Let's not count on these guys in the event of a zombie apocalypse, eh?
So, we can expect prosecutions, then? I mean, the Yorkshire branch of the RSPCA is usually pretty quick to act in other circumstances. And if an elderly cat cared for by a vet is considered fair game, why not a horse tortured to death with gunshots?
The firearms commanders, officers and tactical advisor had behaved in a professional and competent manner, in line with training and guidance.I'd hate to see what happened if they behaved in an unprofessional and incompetent manner, without following training and guidance, then!
So, what lessons could they possibly learn, McMillan? You seem to be contradicting yourself there?
Weapon systems were being reviewed to ensure effectiveness.
Update: It seems the public aren't happy with this whitewash either:
A police review into the killing of two stray horses in York has been described as “patronising” by one Dunnington resident.She's not taking the bland assurances lying down either:
Pam Frankland, 78, lives on a farm in Hull Road and complained to North Yorkshire Police about the incident, which took place on September 12.
Mrs Frankland said: “I received a letter from Chief Superintendent McMillan with the details of his review, and telling me he had considered all the facts of the incident.There's no fooling a Yorkshire lass, is there?
“It is the usual platitudes that the police write, saying they learned from it, but they never learn from these incidents.”