Police Shoot and Kill Escaped Cows in Gatineau, Quebec

On Thursday, police in Gatineau, Quebec shot and killed two stray cows after pursuing them for more than an hour. Police claim that the use of lethal force was necessary as the animals were aggressive and dangerous.

The cows, which were bound for a Montreal abattoir, escaped from the trailer and took off down a local highway and into a residential area. Children at a nearby school had to be kept inside while the police chased down the animals. The cows, however, kept evading the police officers’ attempts to capture them. Eventually, as can be seen in video coverage captured by an area resident, one police officer opened fire and shot at a cow six times. The cow, obviously injured and scared, kept running away. Four police cars chased the cow around the corner and a police officer shot at least four more times at the cow, which eventually died.  The officers later killed the second cow as it approached another highway in the region.

Police told the CBC that they had no choice but to kill the cows.  They tried to get the animals into a trailer, but were unable to do so because they were too aggressive. Feeling they had no other option, they obtained permission of the owner and then proceeded to shoot and kill the cows. According to police, lethal force was necessary because the “the animal was charging at people, hanging around a school, and was really aggressive.”

A commenter on the Huffington Post Canada noted: “I have worked with cattle for many years and have never heard of anything as ridiculous as this. The gun seems to be the answer far too often these days for a lot of trigger happy cops.” The resident who filmed the video of the shooting also expresses dismay at the police officer’s choice to use lethal force. If the cows truly were too aggressive, shouldn’t non-lethal methods, such as tranquilizers, have been an option for police?

What do you think? Were the police right to shoot these animals? Or is there something else they could or should have done to protect the public from scared and aggressive cows?

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Photo credit: dougtone on flickr


Sanjay K.
Sanjay Kumar6 years ago

Bastards, who killed the cows.

Elatia Grimshaw
Elatia G6 years ago

Cops in Oakland, CA shoot a yearling deer and cops in Gatineau, QC shoot cows. I'm starting to think cops shouldn't be allowed anywhere near animals unless they are properly trained animal behaviorists.

Rebecca S.
Rebecca S6 years ago

Just another pathetic example of excessive use of force on the part of poorly trained, cowardly police. Cows are not generally aggressive in any way and I'm sure the police were just tired of looking like fools with their inability to capture them. Sickening, pathetic and a testament to the hubris of humans continuing to think that animals are less than we are. Let's send these cops to the slaughterhouse and see how quickly their friggin' outlook would change!

John S.
Past Member 6 years ago

Aggressive cows?

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran6 years ago


Carrie Anne Brown

sad news but thanks for sharing

SeattleAnn S.
Ann S6 years ago

Seems that the cows had more intelligence that the police involved. Aggressive cows? Really?

heather g.
heather g6 years ago

I've never come across any aggressive cows. They're soft to touch with a velvet-soft nose and have big, kind eyes.
To think that these cows evoked so much fear in the police
They don't sound very brave........... certainly sound trigger-happy!
The wrong animals were shot - the guns were pointing in the wrong direction..........

Tim Cheung
Tim C6 years ago


Margaret Cassidy
Margaret Cassidy6 years ago

I agree this seems like something could have been handled much better and especially in wake of what happened in the US in Ohio. But to Kimberly J. You saying that all Canadians kill seals because of that happening in the Northern Territories is like me saying all Americans kill seals because they do in Alaska. Are you going to boycott your own country because one of your states takes part in the seal hunt every year? 65% of people in Canada don't even live near an ocean. Maybe 200,000 people live in the northern territories. And most Canadians don't agree with the seal hunt as well. Maybe you should do a little more research about Canada. It's tiring to hear that people think that the majority of us live a life in a cold frigid temperature clubbing baby seals when most of us live close to the American border and live in similar conditions to those states.