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Video of injured deer shot 13 times by Montreal-area police sparks outrage

Click to play video: 'Outrage mounts after video of injured deer shot 13 times by Montreal-area police'
Outrage mounts after video of injured deer shot 13 times by Montreal-area police
WARNING: Images may be disturbing. A video posted online has animal-rights advocates outraged after an injured deer was shot multiple time by Longueuil, Que. police officers. As Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports, animal rescue groups say the incident could have been dealt with more humanely. – Mar 2, 2023

A disturbing video circulating online has animal-rights advocates outraged after an injured deer was shot multiple times by police in the Montreal suburb of Longueuil, Que.

It took more than 13 bullets and 30 minutes for Longueuil police officers to subdue the animal on Montreal’s south shore.

The incident, which unfolded on Feb. 19, was captured on video by residents who live near Longueuil’s Michel-Chartrand park.

Sauvetage Animal Rescue, a non-profit animal rights group, described the incident as unnecessary and inhumane in a post on social media.

“Repeated gunshots in a residential area. It was a bloodbath under the eyes of citizens scandalized by such barbarism,” the post read.

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The group claims officers should have used a higher calibre weapon to euthanize deer — a common practice used by police, according to a source from the RCMP who Global News agreed not to identify.

Sauvetage Animal Rescue questions why officers were called to respond to the case and not the province’s wildlife ministry.

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“How is it that two police officers, whose mandate is to protect and serve the population, are forced to intervene with wildlife? Aren’t there wildlife protection officers for this kind of intervention?”

For their part, Longueuil police say officers followed protocol by shooting the animal from a safe distance and by targeting its vital organs.

Police say the deer was suffering from two broken legs. Police say it received authorization to kill the deer after contacting the ministry.

Global News has contacted the wildlife ministry, but has yet to receive a response.

Longueuil police say with the deer population continuing to grow in Michel-Chartrand park, interventions between police and deer have become more frequent — with on average about a dozen incidents a year.

The deer population has increased 238 per cent over the past five years in the park, according to the city.

Longueuil is currently in a legal battle to have a controlled cull of the deer to reduce the population to prevent harm to greenspaces.

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Click to play video: 'No charges laid against Lethbridge officer who repeatedly ran over deer in January'
No charges laid against Lethbridge officer who repeatedly ran over deer in January

Animal rights lawyer Anne-France Goldwater, who is representing Sauvetage Animal Rescue, says she is arguing for relocating the forest animals or spaying and neutering them to stop repopulating.

“I’m without words,” Goldwater said.

In an open letter addressed to the City of Longueuil, Goldwater called the act something from an old Western movie.

“It seems hard to believe that this scene takes place in Quebec in 2023. These videos look more like a trailer for a 60s Western movie than police intervention in a Quebec metropolitan suburb in the 21st century,” Goldwater said.

The Quebec Court of Appeal ordered the City of Longueuil to hold off on authorizing a planned cull in the park until at least April. The judges noted that because of the breeding season, the population of deer should remain relatively stable until the spring.

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