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Norway officers who killed cat cleared of wrongdoing

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Norway officers who killed cat cleared of wrongdoing
Not the same cat. Photo: Duncan Liath/Flickr
09:25 CET+01:00
The Norwegian Bureau for the Investigation of Police Affairs (Spesialenheten for politisaker - NBIPA) said on Wednesday it has dropped an inquiry into police conduct relating to a case in which two officers put down an injured cat by beating it with their batons.
The complaint was filed by the Norwegian Society for Protection of Animals (Dyrebeskyttelsen - NSPA) after pictures of the incident, which took place in the northern city of Bodø in October, were posted on Facebook.
 
The case has now been dropped on the basis that the actions taken by the officers were not in breach of the law, NBIPA confirmed.
 
The two officers in question stated that they considered the cat's injuries too severe to bring it to  a veterinarian, and that doing so would have only prolonged the animal's misery.
 
“It was the assessment of one of the officers that putting down the cat at the scene was the best way to avoid unnecessary suffering,” a NBIPA statement said. “There is no evidence that this assessment led to negligent action.”
 
Local taxi driver Christer Eliassen, who reported the injured cat to the police, told Avisa Nordland that he thought the cat was seriously injured and that the police should have taken it to a vet.
 
“It took around 15 seconds from when the police arrived for one of them to go to the car and fetch his baton,” said Eliassen. “He then went toward the cat and landed a hard hit that went right across its back."
 
The cat then jumped up in shock and hid under the police car.
 
“I saw him give the cat a damn good hit, but it was no use,” said Eliassen.
 
The NBIPA report stated that the first whack by the police officer, which was “aimed at the cat's head,” was “unfortunately a poor hit,” and that it resulted in the cat moving away, whereby a second hit was given, after which the cat became lifeless. The officer then hit the cat a third time in order to ensure there was no reaction, before it was transported to a veterinarian so that the owner could be found.
 
The NSPA said it was "disappointed" by the ruling. 
 
"This cat was subjected to a gross violation of the animal welfare laws and the regulations for the killing of dogs and cats. The animal suffered unnecessary pain as a result of a bad judgement on the part of the police," the organization's director, Linn Krogstad, said in a statement. 
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