A video showing a police officer driving over an injured deer has sparked controversy in Alberta.
The video broadcast by Global television shows a police officer from Lethbridge who uses his police car to run over the animal several times before it dies.
“I often see animal cruelty videos in my work, but this is one of the worst I’ve ever seen,” says Camille Labchuk, an animal rights advocate at Animal Justice.
“It’s obvious in the video that the deer was suffering. We hear him screaming, moaning and shouting,” she adds.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), which normally investigates incidents between police officers and the public, has made the exceptional decision to open a file even if the incident involves an animal. The Department of Wildlife and the SPCA also participate in the investigation.
Another rare fact, the ASIRT issued a long statement Wednesday afternoon about the investigation.
“We recognize that this is an extremely sensitive and serious issue that is of considerable public interest,” the organization said.
The ASIRT adds that a large number of concerned people have called the police, the Ministry of Wildlife and the SPCA, which has caused “disproportionate pressure on the resources of these organizations and their staff”.
“This passion must not take precedence over reason. Death threats have been made against the unidentified agent, “says the organization.
An unjustified gesture
“It certainly does not meet the criteria for a humane death,” said Darrell Dalton, president of the Alberta Veterinary Association. This gesture was not quick and did not diminish the distress or suffering of the animal. ”
He adds that normally, when police find an injured animal, they use their firearms rather than their vehicles to kill them.
Asked why the Lethbridge officer had not used his firearm in this case, a spokesperson for the Lethbridge Police Service stated that he could not comment on the case, a investigation being ongoing.
The ASIRT asks the public to remain patient and to “show restraint so that the investigation can take place”.