back to article Candlelit vigil planned to honour executed Newcastle cow Bessie

Tearful locals have convened a candlelit vigil to mourn the passing of Bessie the cow, gunned down on Sunday night by Northumbria Police marksmen after hoofing it from the Rising Sun Country Park in North Tyneside. The animal was taken out by firearms operatives "in the interests of public safety", following a chase involving …

  1. Antonymous Coward

    With you in spirit Bessie.

    This mindless militarisation of our police state must not go unoppos

  2. hplasm Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    This poor cow needs a memorial.

    Any of the Manchester cows left?

    Lest we forget...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When's the BBQ?

    And will Bessie be the "guest of honour"?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: When's the BBQ?

      Rule Number 1: Never, ever name your food. Except turkeys. They can be called "Holiday Dinner".

      Rule Number 2: Medium-rare.....

    2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Re: When's the BBQ?

      The animal staggered to its feet. It gave a mellow gurgle.

      'A very wise choice, sir, if I may say so. Very good,' it

      said, 'I'll just nip off and get myself shot.'

      After Douglas Adams

  4. Richard Tobin

    Praying's not good enough

    They should sacrifice a goat.

    1. dogged

      Re: Praying's not good enough

      they should invite a copper to come along and explain how they tried to calm her down with their sirens and helicopter.

      Perhaps a crowd that asked that kind of question might need to be calmed down, though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Praying's not good enough

      or a pig?

      1. Peter Simpson 1
        Thumb Up

        Re: Praying's not good enough

        Mmmm...I could go for some pulled pork right now.

    3. Fink-Nottle

      Re: Praying's not good enough

      > They should sacrifice a goat.

      Good plan, it's doubtful any deity would understand the Newcastle accent.

    4. Geoff May

      Re: Praying's not good enough

      They should sacrifice a goat.

      Goats are useful and provide a useful service to the desert making industry. Can't we sacrifice something less useful like several politicians?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Praying's not good enough

        "Goats are useful and provide a useful service to the desert making industry. Can't we sacrifice something less useful like several politicians?"

        Wasn't Stephen Byers the "cab for hire" MP round there for a while?

        1. ElectricFox

          Re: Praying's not good enough

          I saw a documentary once where they burned a policeman with farm animals in this big wicker statue to appease the gods. The presenter had three nipples and all; it was really weird.....

      2. earl grey Silver badge

        Re: Praying's not good enough

        " politicians?"

        Long pig it is!

        Burn the witch...oops, wrong story.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To be serious for a moment

    Okay, commentards (myself included) probably have already done all the cow related humor in the earlier story.

    Logistically, it's way easier to move a large object that can walk, than one that you've just shot. I'd have thought that it would have been easier to just do some light 'herding' rather than having to move a large dead weight.

    Was there some reason I was missing, or were the police bored that day? Apologies for the genuine question.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: To be serious for a moment

      You'll need a seance for that, as only Bessie knows (and the police ain't talking, unsurprisingly).

      Or a mouija board.

      (yes, I know that's not really a serious answer, but my sense of humour greatly appreciates the idea of a memorial service for a cow, probably attended by people who are neither vegan nor likely to forego their leather shoes and jackets)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: To be serious for a moment

        "the police ain't talking, unsurprisingly"

        Well, I find that very surprising to be honest. In this country, its unacceptable for the police to charge around the place shooting things. So, I'd suggest they start squealing.

    2. Captain DaFt

      Re: To be serious for a moment

      "Was there some reason I was missing, or were the police bored that day?"

      Police training.

      The cow resisted arrest by ignoring the command, "Lie down on the ground, and put your hands on your head!"

      That coupled with its incessant taunts of "MOO!" naturally meant they had no choice but to use deadly force.

    3. oiseau Silver badge

      Re: To be serious for a moment

      Logistically, it's way easier ...

      Indeed ...

      Not to mention logically.

      Was it not much easier to just stop and think about what to do?

      Just for maybe a minute or so, or maybe an hour in the coppers case, you never know.

      WTF did they have to shoot it for?

      They could have gently shoo'd it on it's way.

      No helicopters, no sirens, no shooting.

      After all, it was a frigging cow, for Pete's sake!

      Ahhh ...

      So many assholes ...

      So little time.


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Forgot to mention.

    I think we need to mark this occasion with a serious send-off for Bessie. We are going to light candles and say a little prayer for her. Then fire up the BBQ. Hmmm, lovely steak"....

  7. Haku

    From the previous article: "Northumbria Police scrambled 'a helicopter, up to 20 cars and firearms officers to deal with one brown cow"

    What the fuck?

    I never get that kind of backup when almost each year in the summer four or five cows walk down off the common in a group & past my house looking for more greenery to munch on, and all by myself I have to herd them back up the steep hill to where they belong because there's no cattlegrid along one particular road.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Shit! FOUR OR FIVE!!! SHIT!!!!!!ONE!

      You'll need a bazooka for that!

    2. ian 22

      Aye, the grass is always greener...

  8. Mike Richards

    You let out the best bit

    Where the story went the full Chris Morris:

    "Those attending the vigil are asked to wear a cow onesie and bring a candle."

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: You let out the best bit

      Good wording, that man. I shall endeavour to use the phrase "going the full Chris Morris" in everyday conversation

  9. Khaptain Silver badge

    Subtle Alternative

    Dare I suggest that a "tranquiliser" might have been a suitable alternative, rather than the more drastic 308 Winchester......

    There are special people called "veterinarians" who may have been in a position to supply the aforementioned alternative.

    1. JimmyPage

      Re: Subtle Alternative

      That might work on TV. However in the real world, I suspect the sedative isn't instant, and there is a risk that between impact (*if* successful) and unconsciousness the cow may have managed to charge onto a busy road (the whole problem was the police couldn't close off all the roads the cow might stray onto).

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Subtle Alternative

        @JimmyPage : the cow may have managed to charge onto a busy road

        I have just spent a couple of weeks driving around South Africa, mostly the KZN, Swaziland, Mpumalanga and Limpopo regions.

        There are cows and goats and people all over the place and I mean on 2 lane roads where the speed limit is 120Km/h. It's not even unusual to see people crossing the motorways on foot...Taxis Minibuses will stop "anywhere" to pick up people, it's like driving through a gauntlet. Anyone that has driven there will attest to what I am saying.

        Any yet it doesn't seem to create the slightest problem for the locals or even for myself.. Yo drive carefully and look whats in front of you... Driving at night is considered as "madness" but in the daytime things are fine.. So why is it that in England, it takes 20 cops and a helicopter to stop one cow form "potentially" creating a little bit of damage... whereas in SA there are literally thousands of goats/cows/meatbags all over the place and no-one lifts and eyebrow.....

        This is nothing more than the cops having a fun day out with their one and only hunting rifle... The helicopter alone would probably cost around 1500 Euros per 15 minutes of flight... not to mention 20 cops, cars and all the tralala that accompanies them... Plus the rifles "marksman"... Shit it would probably have been cheaper to simply let the cow run out of steam and send in a tractor/trailor

        When a nation becomes spoonfed, they become helpless.. Kind of confirms the idea of a "nanny" state.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Subtle Alternative

      All that was probably needed was a bucket with some feed in it. Cows only have 4 mental instructions - eat, shit, mate, run away. And those are pretty much in order of importance for the cow.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Subtle Alternative

        4 mental instructions? That's one more than many humans.

        1. oiseau Silver badge

          Re: Subtle Alternative

          ... one more than many humans.

          Boris and Donald included?


      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Subtle Alternative

        I'm in total agreement.

        While waiting for the police/authority apologists to come along, I'll ask anyway. How many shots were fired? How many hits? If your cops are anything like the cops here in the States, probably many shots, a few hits.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I had steak last night...

    Is there another vigil for that delicious animal?

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Ahhh blissful ignorance

    ""It's not every day you get a cow getting shot in a field nearby"

    I think you may be a little surprised how many cows (and sheep) do get shot in a field.

    1. dogged

      Re: Ahhh blissful ignorance

      It's pretty rare except when DEFRA decide your land is within 3 miles (yes miles) of a Foot & Mouth outbreak and kill all your perfectly healthy animals just so it looks like they're doing something.

  12. Archaon

    Bearing in mind this is a type of animal that a lot (most of?) us don't think twice about eating this seems a bit mental/over the top/pretentious to me?

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      In one sense, yes. I think it is a chance to make disquiet about police overreaction and use of firearms a bit more public. There is very little trust in the police, and this does not help their cause.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Barbecue dinner on Chicken Field?

    Will they be serving steaks at the prayer vigil?

    Reminds me of a thing that happened in the States a few years back, a cow escaped from a slaughterhouse, setting off a.. well I guess it wasn't a manhunt exactly, but some sort of law-enforcement frenzy, and Chick-Fil-A ended up adopting the cow, since their marketing at the time (or still) is that of a cow trying to convince people to eat chicken instead of beef.

    Well, I guess you had to be there.

    Funny how nobody thinks twice about the millions of cows in industrial meat packing plants, until one is individualized, then it's a sentient being.

  14. Alister Silver badge

    The Northumbrian Police have released a statement saying:

    "In anticipation of tonight's demonstration, we have authorised the use of lethal force to control the crowds, and have mobilised more than 15 police vehicles, a helicopter hovering overhead, and three or four officers in sniper gear to deal with the gathering, which may cause dangerous and severe obstructions to a major highway."

    1. Anonymous Coward

      That's fine, so long as they only take out people under the age of 40 with beards.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    In India, we see cows on the road and so on; that is a bit extreme, cows should not be on road. But chasing and shooting down a cow is something which I am unable to comprehend. I am completely unable to figure out what might have been the thought sequences, logical or otherwise, which would have traversed through the head of the decision maker which made him/her to decide that this was the best course of action...

    and yes, i am not a cow fanatic; neither do i worship one nor do i eat it.

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