UPDATE: The deliberate execution of the foxhound was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) “because of the level of public concern” over the decision. The IPCC determined that North Wales Police should continue with its own investigation and advised on the makeup of the review panel which it recommended should include a vet, a representative of the RSPCA and a senior officer from the Metropolitan Police Dog Support Unit. Sadly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, the review exonerated the officer who sanctioned the action as well as those involved. It has also recommended that patrol vehicles should carry slip leads and nets and that officers should obtain expert advice from dog handlers and vets in a similar situation. Deputy Chief Constable Gareth Pritchard said: “It is regrettable that the dog died in this way and I fully understand the level of public concern.”
CReDO and DogsNet would also like to express regret: the decision to end a dog’s life in this way was in no way acceptable. It was not guaranteed to end in a quick and painless death for the dog and could have resulted in the police involved in the execution being injured physically as well as emotionally. Even if the dog could not have been caught, it could have been herded well away from the road where it was more likely to be captured safely, if not by the police, by hunt staff.
A loose dog was run over on the A4232 southbound in south Wales during this morning’s rush hour, resulting in minor injuries to one driver and lengthy traffic jams. A second loose dog was caught by police. No details have as yet been released as to the circumstances that led to the dogs being on the road.
Meanwhile, the police continue to ignore owners who walk their dogs off lead on roads and many appear to not even know that this violates the Road Traffic Act 1988, Section 27. This law does of course not apply to working dogs.
Today’s incident follows the horrific and deliberate execution of a foxhound by north Wales police on the A55 in Conwy, north Wales at the beginning of the week.
The foxhound was running toward oncoming traffic between the Llanfairfechan roundabout and the Conwy tunnel in the early hours of Monday. Chief Inspector Wareing later stated that “The only safe option was to run the dog over at sufficient speed to ensure that it was destroyed and would not suffer. Other methods of destruction were considered, but were ruled out on the grounds of public safety”.
It seems more likely that the police were not prepared to halt traffic whilst the dog was removed from the carriageway. This appalling action has been referred to the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales and the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Hunt staff and followers do of course take every precaution to keep their hounds away from roads.