A dog running loose on a dual carriageway was deliberately run down and killed by traffic police.
The force initially posted a statement on its website entitled Incident involving a dog on the A55 on Tuesday evening.
The incident in question had taken place on Monday, with a police car deliberately running over a dog that was loose on the motorway and causing vehicles moving at 70mph to swerve to avoid it. Since that initial statement, substantial news coverage has been devoted to the incident, with social media users and animal rights groups criticising the force.
@Dr_Dan_1 Hi. Msg 1of2: This was a particularly tragic incident. We are contacting North Wales Police this morning about the dog
— RSPCA (England & Wales) (@RSPCA_official) February 24, 2016
A second statement of nearly 400 words, posted on Wednesday afternoon, quoted chief superintendent Sacha Hatchett as saying: “Officers were forced to make a difficult decision, in difficult circumstances, with their overriding concern being the safety of road users.”
Hatchett’s statement continues: “At times we are called upon to destroy animals in the course of our police duties, and such decisions are never taken lightly. This decision was not taken lightly.
“In North Wales we have had people lose their lives in collisions caused by animals running loose on the road. We understand that people are upset that a dog was killed, the officers are also upset, it is regrettable, but we will never know what could have happened had such action not been taken.
It ends by saying that the force had “voluntarily referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission because of the level of public concern”, and that the dog’s owner had been contacted.