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 with Rob Miskosky

The Consequences of Stupidity

Often, we chastise animal-rights groups for their stupidity, propaganda, and one-eyed blather and rightfully so. More often than not, the animal-rights crowd goes well beyond the normality of folks that recognize the importance of animal management, be it birds, fish or game. Outside of stupid people, perhaps even cruel people, outdoorsmen and women that partake in our outdoor pursuits do their best to ensure the species they are harvesting, whether by rifle, bow, rod or trap, is killed in a humane fashion. We are all taught to respect wildlife and to ensure the ethical and humane treatment of all living creatures. This is taught to us in our hunter education and trapper education courses, and so it should be. No animal deserves disrespect during the taking of its life.

Thousands of animals are injured or killed by vehicles every year on Alberta roads.

Now, I’m unaware of what our police officers are taught during their training courses but I have to assume that respect for people and animals would be a part of that curriculum. But maybe not... at least not for one police officer based out of Lethbridge.

In Alberta, thousands of animals are involved in vehicle collisions every year, especially deer during the rut. Often, there are injuries to both vehicle occupants and to the animal involved. In most cases, the animal is killed but on rare occasions, the animal is injured beyond saving and must be euthanized. Enter our brave officer from Lethbridge.

On January 5 of this year, Erica Pritchard was driving along Scenic Drive North in Lethbridge when she saw a car hit a young deer, apparently breaking its back legs. Sad, but it often happens. However, what doesn’t happen is what happened when a Lethbridge police officer arrived on the scene. The yet-to-be-named officer began to repeatedly run over the animal with his police truck, apparently trying to euthanize it, even though he was wearing a sidearm – the standard tool used for dispatching a wounded animal. After several attempts at running back and forth over the animal, the officer in question decided to drive his truck up onto the still alive deer that was desperately trying to get away, parking a wheel on top of the now traumatized animal. The entire episode, which took several minutes, was recorded by cellphone and later sent to local media where it has since gone viral.

And with going viral has come the condemnation of the police officer by thousands; again, rightfully so. In fact, a petition to have the officer fired has garnered more than 74,000 signatures. And more than one hundred protesters showed up outside the Lethbridge Police Department waving signs that read, “No excuse for animal abuse”, “Police are not above the law”, and “Say no to animal cruelty”, among many others.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is now investigating after they were made aware of the video. The simpleminded officer, however, is still at work while the investigation is ongoing.

Investigation? What in the world could they be investigating? Clearly, the video shows exactly what transpired.

Animal-rights groups have now jumped onboard calling for animal cruelty charges to be laid against the officer, as well as charges for whatever police conduct violations may have occurred.

Now, seldom will you see me side with animal-rights groups but in this case, I find it difficult to see otherwise.

For previous Outdoor Pursuits click here.

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