Ontario Police Investigate Disturbing Euthanasia of Deer by Officers

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The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have initiated an investigation into a distressing case involving two of their officers based in Northern Ontario. The case has come to light following a video showing an axe being used to euthanize a deer.

The incriminating footage was shared on social media platforms Tuesday afternoon by Animal Justice, a well-known Canadian group advocating animal rights. Following the uproar, OPP responded on social media Tuesday evening, stating its awareness of the incident in which the officers attempted to euthanize the suffering deer with the flat side of an axe.

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The OPP decried the manner in which the officers dealt with the incident, labeling it as “disturbing” and emphasized it contradicted the officers’ expected behavior and training. They confirmed that an investigation into the incident is in progress.

According to an emailed statement by OPP representative, Bill Dickson, to CTV News, the incident had occurred on September 3 in a residential neighborhood in Kenora. He outlined that the deer was critically injured and reeling in pain after being hit by a vehicle.

In the face of the appalling incident, Shannon Nickerson, the Communications Manager for Animal Justice, confirmed that a conduct violation complaint has been filed against the officers involved. She noted that while the officers elected to euthanize the deer, their methods were inhumane and deviated from standard practices. According to eye-witness accounts provided by local residents, the deer had been brutally hit in the head with the blunt side of an axe and left to slowly die in excruciating pain, which took more than an hour.

Nickerson went on to highlight the numerous alternative, and more compassionate ways the officers could have addressed the issue, such as reaching out to local animal services, consulting the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for advice, or contacting an animal rehabilitation center for guidance.

While acknowledging that officers are authorized to use their firearms on critically injured animals under the Police Services Act, Dickson refrained from delving into specifics of what the officers should have done differently. He confirmed that the incident is presently under investigation by the OPP professional standards unit.