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MP calls for tighter controls on crossbows after cow attack
9:46am Tuesday 8th October 2013 in News
A NORTH Yorkshire MP has called for tighter regulations on crossbows following a gruesome incident which has cost a farmer thousands of pounds.
Chris Pickering, the farmer responsible for the animal on behalf of BHE Agricultural Contractors, has now said the animal’s condition has worsened since the attack on September 24, and it can no longer be used for breeding.
Mr Pickering said: “The beast is okay, but has totally lost sight in its eye. Its totally lost its use as a breeding heiffer, it’s no use having a cow that’s blind in one eye.
“You could have had eight or nine calves off it in the next eight years or so. They would have been worth about £1,200 per calf, then expenses off that. We’ve probably lost between £5,000 and £7,000, and there’s no insurance whatsoever for that.”
Since the attack, Hugh Bayley, MP for York Central, has written to the minister within the Home Office responsible for crime and policing, Jeremy Browne, to call for tighter regulation of weapons of this sort. Mr Bayley is awaiting a response.
He said: “I feel strongly about it, personally. I believe it is possible to increase controls on dangerous weapons without putting at risk their use in legitimate sports or as museum exhibits.
“When I see something like this incident, it underlines the point that these are not harmless toys, these are dangerous weapons which can blind or kill an animal or a human being and that is why there should be a register of everyone who wants to keep them.”
The animal is still on medication, and Mr Pickering said once that was out of its system it would likely have to be sold for meat. He thanked Howells Veterinary Services for their help.
He said: “They’ve done everything they can.
“I’d definitely welcome better control of this kind of weapon in the future, but its too late for this one.”
North Yorkshire Police said nobody had been arrested in connection with the attack but its investigations were ongoing.
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