back to article Trigger-happy Welsh cops taser sheep

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 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    'A North Wales Police spokeswoman explained: "a decision was made to utilise the Taser.'

    Anyone using the word "utilise" deserves to be tasered until they learn to express themselves properly.

  2. Rick

    I think they are...

    pulling the wool over the whole situation

    >/ you all have been fleeced now!!!

  3. Kenny Swan
    Thumb Down

    A bit over the top

    Tazering a scared animal without trying any other methods is a bit over the top though, isn't it? If a member of the public had done this, they'd have been prosecuted no doubt, so why should the police force get away with it? If the traffic had stopped and motorists had got out their car, how is there an immediate danger to motorists? Unless the sheep jumped in someone's car and ran them over as it drove off, it's pretty harmless. This is why the muppets in uniform here shouldn't be given a tazer. They're lucky they're still allowed a baton. We should tazer one of them when they're in the road and see how they like it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get down Shep

    This was obviously a test for the Qinetiq taser armed robo sheep dog. Now the weapon test has been completed we can expect fleets of these things sweeping through the nearest hillsides/battlefields/protests in the near future.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Anonymous Coward

    whats wrong with this?

    Risk a panicked sheep running into fast moving traffic or subdue the animal and remove it in a controlled manor?

    Perhaps we should trust the person who's decision it was?

    However I do NOT believe that the police should have tazers anyway.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    It could have been armed

    More likely, it had only legs.

    But seriously, if the police cannot be trusted to use OFFENSIVE WEAPONS only when completely essential, they should not be issued with them.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Look at it this way

    2 X plod in car at £350 per hour and a blocked road for 5 hours chasing it? or zap, over and road those stuck in the tailback didnt give a rats about the sheep anyway.

    People and sheep, so similar

    BTW, using utilise or was it ewe-tulise

  9. Marvin the Martian

    No fair

    <Any commenters tempted to post a quip regarding Wales/sheep/wellington boots should note that Mail-reading wags have beaten you to it>: that's not fair.

    You know, monkeys/typewriters, etc --- with that argument, nobody could ever rightly put anything outrageous on the register, so why would we be here? Ok, will the last one kindly take his coat?

  10. Yorkshirepudding

    smells like

    roast lamb anyone? no

    mines the one with the mint sauce in

  11. Mickey Porkpies

    I would have shot it

    It's a sheep! I think running it down with a mudless 4x$ would have been a tad more painful. We have people being tortured and murdered, stabbed and shot and all we give a monkeys about is a fluffy sheep we temporarily spark. Get a life!!

    God I am turning onto Clarkson!

  12. Mike Crawshaw

    Never fear, animal lovers!

    The RSPCA is on the case! *cue fanfare*

    And, having been on the receiving end of their attentions in the past (my dog only has a full-size Wendy House as a kennel, which is, obviously, "insufficient shelter", amongst other disgusting offences I committed, such as daring to complain when they tried to break into my property) - we can be sure that the officer in question will be thrown to the bears shortly.

    (Or at least sternly told off and have his taser taken away for a couple of days until he promises not to do it again.)

    Seriously, the officer in question is obviously a dick of the highest order if he thinks that it was an appropriate course of action.

    (Mental Note: Daily Mail readers immediately jumped on the Welsh/Sheep/Wellies joke bandwagon. I'm never making such a wisecrack again....)

  13. NukEvil
    Flame're not supposed to 'tase' a sheep...'re supposed to get a big stick, and poke the thing until it moves.

    Flame because even though I've never tasted it, I'm sure that fried sheep would be nice.

  14. GrahamT
    Thumb Down


    It would be ironic if there was legal protection for a future roast dinner, but not for human beings in the same circumstances.

    Seriously though, I think it is cruel to electrocute humans or animals to a state of paralysis.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can I Taser Girls Aloud?

    "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!"

    If he zapped you, and you complained that he caused unnecessary suffering to *you*, the officer would make up some crap about you being a danger to the public, and slap on extra charges. This is why it's safe to show outrage when it's a sheep. Because the officer can't pretend the sheep is anything other than a stupid wooly animal and can't arrest it for suspicion of terrorism, or detain it for 42 days, or pre-seize it's assets, or tell the court how it was a black sheep and should be prosecuted just in case.

    Mr Rozzer can Taser Girls Aloud, but Mr Joe Public can't write a STORY about Tasering girls Aloud.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle


    Word-twisting and evil I can understand being upset with, but movie-watching? Seems a bit harsh.

    *sulks off to home theater*

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some months ago...

    ...there was a story about a 65 year old man being tasered in the US which lead to predictable knee jerk, lazy US-bashing (the stock in trade of these pages). Where are you all now?

  18. Steven Raith

    Clearly you lot have never played "Worms"...

    ...and the cop has been playing too much.

    He made the right decision - it could have been a suicide sheep.

    I for one bow down to our explosive packed, woolen fleeced overlords. It can only be a matter of time before they develop metallic undercoats with earthing straps....

    Steven R

  19. Robert Harrison


    Was the wool turned to nylon?

    Y'know as in:

    Mary had a little lamb;

    She tied it to a pylon,

    ten thousands volts shot up its ^&*^

    and .. so on.

    We need to know. If someone has already posted this elsewhere, that means there are *2* really sad gits in the world.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @What's wrong with this

    "Risk a panicked sheep running into fast moving traffic or subdue the animal and remove it in a controlled manor? Perhaps we should trust the person who's decision it was?"

    Excuses excuses.

    "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 GOTTEN OUT"

    When they next Taser someone to death, will you be there to defend them?

  21. Anonymous Coward

    I fear for the sheep...

    I'm surprised, usually, when faced with Welsh police officers (or Weshmen of any persuasion) advancing with a certain gleam in their eye, most normal sheep will know what's coming and run like hell. In comparison, a tasering would seem like a let-off.

    I refuse to let a stereotype go by without comment, Daily Mail readers or no Daily Mail readers.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Weasel Words

    "A decision was made", there's weasel words for you.

    From the language used by the spokes person a fool could infer that some sort of offcial decision making procedure was followed. At the other end of the scale it could mean that a single officer got it into his head that using a taser would be quicker using a taser than doing the job properly.

    The statement that "a decision was made" does not indicate at what level the decision was take, how many people were involved in the decision making process or if any assesment of the decision took place before it was implemented.

    Now you may think that I'm ovrreacting here, but this is the same sort of phrasing which has been used by police forces in statements regarding much more serious incidents with much more serious outcomes. In those cases (and I'll let you work out which ones I'm talking about) it appears that police forces in this fine country believe that the fact that a police officer has the right to make any decision s/he chooses and that is all the law requires.

    It's all reminiscent of Judge Dredd isn't it? "I am the law."

  23. Bad Beaver


    I find it disheartening that the proud police force across the channel is now so insufficiently trained as to even be unable to handle a loose sheep without the use of offensive weaponry. Also, I am still of the opinion that police officers "utilising" their Taser, no matter on whom or what, as well as the decision makers equipping them should be tased themselves. It's completely harmless, you know, it would just be... educational.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    ........ youtube clip??

    Don't Taze me BraaAAaa!!

  25. The Other Steve

    Flossy! NOOOOO!

    "Our world has become a sick joke"

    No, no, it just _looks_ like a sick joke through the distorting lens of the Daily Mail.

    Is it just me, or did this story make anyone else think of lamb chops ? Mmmm. tasty sheep.

  26. Roger Greenwood

    Is it just me

    That dreams of electric sheep. Or me and the androids.

  27. Anonymous Coward


    "It was on it's side shaking on the side of the road"

    Yeah, right! Resuscitation my @rse!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tazers aren't the problem, the training is

    Most of the time, when this sort of article shows up, you end up with several people complaining that cops shouldn't have tazers- they're too dangerous, reckless, etc. Well, yeah, a tazer's dangerous, but which would you rather have, a cop deciding that you need to be stopped right now and taking a baton to your head, or a quick, (hopefully) non-lethal battery recharge? Or, worse yet, lacking a tazer, and being unwilling to close to melee range because you represent a credible threat in close quarters, just shoot you? (Yes, I'm US based. This biases me slightly because of the whole "all our cops have guns" thing)

    The problem doesn't lie with tazers. Are they infallible? No. They have issues- if used on a person in compromised physical health (pacemaker, bad heart, certain other medical conditions) they are far more likely to kill them than when used on a normal, healthy person. The problem, however, lies with the training and guidance given to the officers. In general, i feel we should spend more money on training and equipping officers than we do- so that they have a better understanding of what each tool does, what negative effects it has, and when it should be used.

    As for the sheep, well, I can't comment on whether it was needed or not. From what I know of sheep, they are often easily herded, but I could see it being problematic, and possibly (by no means definitely) being justified in simply tazering it instead of chasing it all around.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    bahh bahh stunned sheep have u got any wool

    maybe they should have changed bah bah black sheep to bah bah taser sheep have u got any wool ?

  30. Mark

    re: utilise

    Tazer them.

    For each word in the sentence that USES that bastardized word.

    As to:

    "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."

    Well when a copper is harmed, there's a HUUUUGE manhunt for one person encountering the risk of their job. Why waste money finding the perp?

    Ah, because we're supposed to *care*.

  31. Mark

    re: Look at it this way

    Two trained officers couldn't work out how to get a sheep to move so shot it with an electric prod.


    Look, if the sheep runs **away**, then if there are two of you, you place yourselves that the "most away " from each of you is the direction you want the sheep to do.

    A fricking SHEEPDOG worked that one out.

  32. Blubster

    @Steven Raith

    "He made the right decision - it could have been a suicide sheep."

    In which case they would have shot it seven times in the face.

  33. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Won't somebody think of the children?

    These Tasers have been tested and determined to be non-lethal when used on adult humans. Now let's point it at something significantly smaller. Tested that, have we? Would anyone risk Tasering a child? How about something the same size as a child? Questions, questions...

  34. xjy
    Paris Hilton

    Pulling the wool

    Obviously the ram was trying to cash in on the road transport market - green freight - just think of the commercial possibilties if he was right! But obviously he was too horny for our bigoted boys in blue and got zapped. And I say they were right! What if every ram in the country started racing along our motorways with his horns glowing and his baa blaring! The anarchy would be intolerable! Surround every Welsh sheep farm with tanks! If it's bloody good enough for Heathrow, it's good enough for terrorist bloody ovines.

    Taze away, Boys in Blue! Sheep cattle horses moles hoodies chavs WAGs - you name it, you taze it!

    Taze 'em daze 'em eraze 'em!

    None of this namby-pamby muck. A few thousand volts up their arse is what they need! That'll bloody teach 'em...

    (Paris, cos she could probably do with a few thousand volts up her, too...)

  35. Anonymous Coward

    @@What's wrong with this

    And then I read the rest of the Quote

    "Everyone had stopped their cars and a few people had got out and were trying to herd the sheep away from the carriageway."

    You are assuming it is a single CARRIAGEWAY, and not a traffic jam in one direction and 90mph traffic on the other. Do you know that it is single CARRIAGEWAY in the location this took place? sounds a lot like a dual CARRIAGEWAY to me.

    Lets look at some more evidence, the waiting motorists were unable to remove the sheep and get on with their journey without the assistance of the police. So perhaps it wasn't as simple as the hack would lead you to believe unless people in Wales are so frightened of sheep that they would rather sit and look at them from the safety of their cars, or even move them along by driving slowly towards the sheep until it moved out of the way. Now that Quote again.....

    "Everyone had stopped their cars and a few people had got out and were trying to herd the sheep away from the carriageway."

    So move the sheep away from the CARRIAGEWAY onto what? a hard shoulder maybe? Sounding more like a dual CARRIAGEWAY to me all the time, and even if you did herd it away what then, perhaps all the cars start moving again and 5 minutes latter the sheep wonders into the CARRIAGEWAY again causing a serious accident.

    Perhaps the hack made this all seem a little more clear cut so he had a story rather then having to explain to his boss why he had shurked of to Wales to do (articles on) sheep.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Tazers aren't the problem, the training is

    I don't accept this, it's the standard excuse.

    Whenever an officer steps over the line it's always "oh the training was inadequate", same when a social worker overreacts, same problem, there's always the same excuse, "inadequate training"!

    Bottom line is, they don't take responsibility for their actions. You can't train people to show good judgement because they will always be faced with new situations you haven't taught them for. You can only fire people who show bad judgement.

    e.g. Sir Ian Blair should have been sacked a long time ago IMHO, after he lobbied for changes in the law in coordination with NuLabour, he was a tainted political appointee not a police officer. The rest of the scaremongering and abuse of stop-and-search was just inevitable.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    zap a sheep get investigated.

    Zap a person to death, o well these things happen.

  38. Mark


    And claimed it was ram raiding at the time?

  39. Mark

    re: Tazers aren't the problem, the training is

    "but which would you rather have, a cop deciding that you need to be stopped right now and taking a baton to your head, or a quick, (hopefully) non-lethal battery recharge?"

    How about "Neither".

    Yeah. maybe we ought to give the officers acid sprays to blind you, 'cos which would you prefer: Blind or Dead, huh?


  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That is appalling ! Almost as bad as dong the same thing to a human being.

    No: I take that back, I know a of a few so-called "human beings" for whom tasering would be too good for them. The scumbag who fly-tips on my garage forecourt for a start.

  41. Anonymous John


    the sheepskin one with the two small punctures.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @@@What's wrong with this

    "You are assuming it is a single CARRIAGEWAY, and not a traffic jam in one direction and 90mph traffic on the other. Do you know that it is single CARRIAGEWAY in the location this took place? sounds a lot like a dual CARRIAGEWAY to me."

    You know what I'm assuming. That the officer would remember how to waive his hands if he didn't have a Taser. The new thing here is the introduction of the Taser, not the introduction of sheep or roads.

    God help us if they issue them with guns, they'll be dragging corpses off the road instead. And people like you will be here to justify it in the interests of 'safety'.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Baaa-aaa-Staaaa-rrddd !!!

    DIY Tazzed and Confused lamb kebab on the hard shoulder

    c/o your local police force kebab shop

  44. Stuart Elliott

    Tazered Sheep > Blocked Road

    It's a bloody sheep, get over it for crying out loud, you eat the bloody things, bet you don't BLEAT about popping into Tescos for a "humanely obtained" leg of lamb for Sunday lunch...

  45. RW

    Taser vs. a bucket of cold water

    One thing I notice about reports of tasing: most of the time, a bucket of cold water would have been just as effective as the potentially lethal Taser.

    It's well known that the Taser is a life-threatening device. Does anyone tell the cops, don't use the Taser if you wouldn't use a gun? (Not that they much care about collateral harm as long as they can get back to munching donuts in peace and quiet.)

    The coppers prefer to stick to the fairy tale that the taser is harmless. Lying sons of bitches. No wonder no one respects them any more.

  46. Anonymous Coward

    @@@@What's wrong with this @re: Look at it this way

    People who are quick to pass judgement are unlikely to have understood the problem.

    I can tell you haven't really thought this out. So you wave your arms about, and luckily the panicked sheep is now calmly stood by the side of the road eating grass, stuck between the road and the fence. The impatient motorists have got back in their cars and traffic is once again moving at motorway speed, you still have to move the sheep to a safe location.

    I suspect by the book what he should have done is closed both sides of the road and then called a vet to tranquillise the animal. Instead he thought outside the box and took a short cut. A bit to smart for a copper if you ask me!

    I don't think he should have had the tazer on him, because it's stupid to arm someone in a position of authority and expect them not to abuse it, but that is a different article and a different comments page.

    The real questions is what scared the poor sheep to run out into the road in the first place and why wasn't the dirty bastard arrested? ;-)

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @No it's not a sheep it's a misused Taser

    "It's a bloody sheep, get over it for crying out loud, you eat the bloody things, bet you don't BLEAT about popping into Tescos for a "humanely obtained" leg of lamb for Sunday lunch..."

    I think you miss the story completely.

    People are wary of Taser because it kills a lot of people. Despite this it has been introduced to every UK officer, even officers who were unarmed. Now we see a story showing an officer using a Taser in a situation where he'd have previously waved his arms and shouted.... and this confirms in their mind that we'll get stories of Tasers being used against peaceful people and no doubt a few deaths.

    So it's not about the sheep, it's about the misuse of a Taser.

    The expectation is (based on how Brits are treated as shit by their government) is that they will be blamed each time this happens, so they will not get the chance to complain when this happens to them.

  48. Anonymous Coward

    RSPCA Involved....

    No one expects the Ram-ish Inquisition...

    <ahem> sorry!

  49. Anonymous Coward

    Daily Mail?

    Sheep, Daily Mail readers..

    Fish, barrel, 12 gauge...

  50. Pete
    Black Helicopters

    If the sheep were instead 'rendered' ... Guantanamo, we wouldnt be reading about this sheep - and the officer(s) would not be facing the wrath (cough cough) of the RSPCA.

  51. Ed
    Thumb Down

    Dam it ppl

    Its a god dam sheep....

    If the thing had jumped infront of a bus full of school kids and it crashed everyone would be bitching about the coppers not doing enough....

    Man i am glad i'am not on the force

  52. Rick
    Thumb Up

    Should give you an example

    Heres a good example of what probably happened

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Are some folk really confused about the difference between humanely killing other life for food, and deliberate mistreatment of, and causing suffering to, other species? Or are they just 'having us on'? It's near unbelievable that a thinking being should appear to be taking the stance that, as we do one, then anything goes and we should ignore, accept, or even approve everything else.

  54. Astarte


    Did the Policeman issue the mandatory verbal warning?

  55. Paul Segrue

    yes its a sheep but...

    Personally I would rather a sheep get stunned and then moved away than left in the road, (I was going to say for a 4X4 to run over but seeing most of the driving abilities of 4x4 drivers.... no I wont start that one...)

    Ok this is a bit extreme but what if the tail back caused delays to the fire or ambulance services getting to a call and one or more humans died, its more than likely that the same people that are crying out about mistreatment of an animal would be complaining equally as hard about the lack of action by the police in clearing the road quickly allowing traffic to flow. Or if the officers were unable to prevent a violent attack because they were chasing a sheep around whilst simultaneously trying to ensure it was not being psychologically disturbed by the traumatic experience.

    I see nothing wrong with the act myself, but if you insist then why just blame the police, you could blame the farmer for having the audacity to allow the sheep to escape, or blame the person who put up the fences.... even better the person who made the fences in the first place, they can surely be blamed for something too...

    Or you could just realise that sometimes sh17 happens, someone’s got to deal with it and who you gonna call???

  56. Mark

    re: Dam it ppl

    Aye, and sheep, lacking both the opposable thumbs AND the fingers necessary are unable to wield any of the items that are required for such an animal to be a danger to human life.

    So if someone is willing to use it against a dumb animal just because it was easier for them then running about a bit, what about when this twunt with a tazer meets a little bit of a problem with a hoodie wearer? Or a muslim? Or a Hare Crishna? Lippy kid?

  57. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    Good thing this didn't happen in sheep-bothering country...

    If the sheep had been wearing wellies it would have been insulated.

  58. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    re: yes its a sheep but...

    "Ok this is a bit extreme but what if the tail back caused delays to the fire or ambulance services getting to a call and one or more humans died"

    Two problems with this:

    1) it didn't happen

    2) it didn't happen

    I know that's the same thing twice, but it seemed so important I had to say it twice.

    Now, what if the sheep were, instead of stunned, enraged and this enraged animal were to trample to death some of the people who had gotten out of their car? The death caused by idiot trigger happy police.

    What if watching this scene has caused irreperable harm to the poor young children, giving them nightmares? A mental cruelty dealt out by the police.

    What if God really DOES exist and got hugely pissed off that the human arrogance and decided that he must kill all humans.

    I mean, if we're going to make shit up to justify our point of view, why not go hog wild?

    FFS you idiot.

  59. Paul Segrue


    lol I saw that coming,

    My remarks were aimed at the people who cry absolute outrage at these things, the hypothetical comments were simply to say that if (yes if) they had happened the same people crying out for the police to be punished for animal cruelty would be complaining equally hard about police incompetence in not clearing the road.

    It was less a comment about the rights and wrongs of tazering a sheep and more about the hypocrisy of some people who will always complain about some aspect of a event without knowing the full details (as indeed I admit I was not there and also do not know the full details myself) but it does not hard to figure out that the Police priority would be safely clearing the roads of cars.

    If I was unable to make this clear to people this is what I was trying to convey then I apologise and take my place standing in the corner facing the wall :)

  60. Tim
    Dead Vulture

    I blame the credit crunch..

    ..I'm just sick of blaming terrorists. I miss blaming the millennium bug though, its still out there... watching us.

  61. Mark

    @Paul Segrue

    Aye, well I don't do that.

    I didn't blame the police for 7/7. I blamed them for following the wrong man, shooting him dead in the head under the idea that he may be strapped to the gills with explosives (so no non-lethal force possible) BUT waited until he was on a packed train.

    I don't blame them when a killer is turned loose because he's done his time and re-offends. I blame the police if they let him go because they lost his data.

    The basic theme is that if they have good reason for failure, then that is just what we must accept in the attempt to ensure no innocent man is found guilty. If they have a stupid reason for failure, then they are the cause of the problem and deserve vitriol and scorn.

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