Cows on QEW: Deserve to Die?

Lethal Force Used on Escaped Cow


Photo: "The Pasture" by blogTO Flickr pooler Stacey.

Cows roaming free on the QEW. That's not something you see everyday (or ever?) on our city's freeways, so it was definitely newsworthy.

What's getting even more news now that this morning's situation is under control is the shooting death of one of the escaped cows. Police officers opened fire on a cow after it broke out of their control and charged towards another officer.

Acceptable casualty? Or could this situation have been avoided?

Opinions on the matter are clearly mixed. Many observers are questioning why the cow couldn't have been tranquilized instead of being shot to death. Other bystanders, however, praise the officers for doing what they needed to do to protect citizens. A local resident (as per the CityNews story) is quoted as saying the officers made the right move:

"I think the safety of residents and property has to come first. Now, I'm sure some animal rights activists will properly differ in that...I think they just did an outstanding job. [...] It could have been far more serious, but there was no other conclusion that they could come to."

Some people I have spoken to say that it didn't really matter if the cow was killed or caught, as they were all heading towards a slaughterhouse anyways.

So what do you think? Were the officers right in opening lethal fire on the cow? Or was there something else they could have done to bring the animal under control? Does it all really matter in the end?


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