The Cows, a Sequel to Hitchcock’s the Birds

Photo by Ryan Thompson

Remember that cow that got shot outside the primary school in the UK? You know, the one that got shot, and then got shot again, and then got shot again, and then was finally killed? The one the police insist they definitely did not miss, because it is better to be inhumane than inaccurate? Of course you remember–unless you’re from Oklahoma, in which case you’re excused. Well, after promising to take seriously the “significant public interest” in the not-at-all-disproportionate response–four marksmen, one sergeant, five officers, four PCSOs, five patrol cars, and a police van–to a cow loose in a residential area, the Lincolnshire Police issued a statement:

“The animal’s presence in a residential area posed a serious risk to safety. A significant amount of resources were committed to containing the animal. The intention was to safely remove the animal from the area without destroying it if at all possible.

“After more than two hours of working towards this aim, it became apparent that it was not achievable. Several options, including sedation, were considered. The RSPCA and the owner of the animal were consulted.

“As more members of the public turned up to watch the incident, prompted by online commentary on the situation, the animal became increasingly distressed and there were fears that it would jump further fences and re-enter a residential area.”

A compelling argument.

Meanwhile, on the continent, the Austrians are dealing with a full blown cowpocalypse.

A police statement says the 43 steers defied attempts by police and volunteer firefighters to recapture them after wandering off Thursday and heading toward the Upper Austrian town of Freistadt. After being chased away from the railway station, they endangered motorists by stampeding onto a two-lane highway before running into a town suburb.

Two firefighters who tried to stop them were injured and needed hospital treatment.

The statement says 18 of the animals remain on the loose Friday. The rest have been corralled or tranquilized.

Oh, the humanity! Of all people, the Austrians should have a keen cultural awareness of the danger of appeasement techniques like corralling and tranquilizing. Lives are on the line, and the casualties are racking up. After two hours days of trying to control these stampeding menaces, surely it is time to take off the kid gloves and bring in the amateur marksmen with the seventy-two rounds necessary to fell eighteen cows. The real question for Americans is, if Austria solicits military aid in this time of crisis, should we send troops or should Obama just call in a drone strike?

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