North Wales Police have taken a bit of flak for last Wednesday tasering a runaway ram which was threatening traffic on the A55 near Bodelwyddan, the Daily Mail reports.
Driver Mark Faulkes, 47, of Flint, recounted: "We came across a traffic jam and we saw there was a sheep in the road. Everyone had stopped their cars and a few people had got out and were trying to herd the sheep away from the carriageway.
"The police then arrived and they went towards the sheep but it moved away from them. Then one of the officers got out his Taser gun and fired it at the sheep. Then he carried it to the side of the carriageway."
Faulkes's 13-year-old daughter, Amy, was described as "horrified" at the shocking supression of the sheep menace. Her dad elaborated: "Amy was very distressed. I don't know if the sheep was alright. When we left, it was lying by the side of the road, shaking."
He concluded: "I thought it was excessive to use a Taser on a defenceless sheep. It could have been directed away from the road without using such force and they didn't even try to herd it."
The RSPCA has declared it will investigate the matter, while Sheila Stewart - who owns an animal rescue centre close to the scene of the ovine take-down - opined: "I think the use of a stun gun is excessive. It is not difficult to herd a sheep to the side of the road or through a gateway back into a field. There is no need to use such excessive force on an animal."
A North Wales Police spokeswoman explained: "We received numerous calls reporting a loose ram crossing over both carriageways of the A55 at St Asaph, causing major disruption and possible danger to motorists. Officers attended and to ensure the safety of the motorists, a decision was made to utilise the Taser.
"This was successfully done and the ram was then returned to its owner uninjured. The ram later returned to the farmer's field."
The victim of North Wales Police's counter-livestock SWAT team has since been dubbed "Sparky" by locals, the Mail notes.
Cry havoc and let slip the Twat-O-Tron
The comments to the Mail piece make an entertaining read in themselves. One outraged citizen was moved to offer: "More evidence that these oh-so-beneficent, word-twisting ('possible danger to motorists'), movie-watching, evil uniformed rats should be sacked or imprisoned.
"This was deliberately causing unnecessary suffering to an animal on the UK mainland, where alternative methods of handling this situation were available, and I demand that that officer creep is arrested and prosecuted!"
Another chipped in with: "Free counselling and compensation for all involved! While we're at it, let's launch an expensive public enquirey. Our world has become a sick joke."
And finally, try this: "thats north Wales police for you. Where I live in Mid Wales the police arrest pensioners for feeding ducks! Check it out.No wonder they call it the wild west!"
And one more thing...
Any commenters tempted to post a quip regarding Wales/sheep/wellington boots should note that Mail-reading wags have beaten you to it. ®