Farmer's partner says officer who rammed cow in police car should be sacked

The officer filmed deliberately driving a police car into a cow twice should "lose his job" over the "disgusting" incident, the farmer's partner has told Sky News.

The animal, a 10-month-old breeding heifer called Beau Lucy, has no broken bones and is recovering in a barn with other calves but could still die of shock, she said.

Home Secretary James Cleverly called for a "full, urgent explanation" after a video of the incident in Staines-upon-Thames on Friday evening was widely shared on social media.

Surrey Police said the decision was taken to stop the loose animal "using a police car" after officers "tried a number of options to safely capture the cow" over a period of hours and were "extremely concerned about the public's safety".

But Kate, the partner of the farmer who owns the cow, called the footage "horrific" and said: "It looked like they tried to kill it."

"Honestly, when I saw the video, I thought he should lose his job. I just thought it was disgusting, I couldn't believe it," she said.

"I don't know if it was his decision to drive at the animal or whether he was instructed to, but the police, when they got out of the car looked pretty agitated themselves."

The video shows the cow falling and skidding metres down a road after being hit by the vehicle.

As the animal seems to be trying to get back on its feet, the car approaches for a second time.

The cow's head and part of its torso then appears to be stuck underneath the front of the vehicle as two officers get out. A second police car can be seen on an adjoining street.

Surrey Police said in a statement it had received "numerous calls from the public reporting a car being damaged" and the animal running at people, and attempts to safely capture the cow had failed.

"Unfortunately, these were unsuccessful, and the decision was made to stop it using a police car," the force said.

The matter has been referred to the police's professional standards department and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has been notified, with a voluntary referral to be made in due course.

Chief Inspector Sam Adcock said: "I know that this has caused distress and I'd like to thank the community for their concern.

"The decision to use the police car is one that was only taken after other methods to stop the cow had failed.

"There will be an investigation into the actions that led to this, but our focus at all times is on ensuring the safety of the public."

Kate said it was "a shame" officers had not contacted her and her partner or other farmers, or called a vet to use a tranquiliser on Beau Lucy, an animal weighing about 200kg she said "wasn't that out of control, just spooked".

"I can only imagine the police that did it have no idea about farm animals," she said.

Kate said Beau Lucy, along with other cows, were put out on the well-fenced Staines Moor to graze and believes she may have escaped by swimming across a river, adding: "I couldn't believe she ended up where she did."

She said the cow was "really agitated" and "really scared" but has calmed down since returning to the farm, is eating and drinking and has been seen by a vet.

"I don't know whether she will live," she said. "She could die of the shock but hopefully she'll live."