Police Kill Steer That Escaped Bridgewater Slaughterhouse

By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV

BRIDGEWATER (CBS) – It was a violent end to a dramatic escape. Bridgewater Police put down a 1,300 pound steer after it forced its way out of a local slaughterhouse and began running through streets and backyards of the town.

Terry Den Besten, owner of Den Besten Farm, says the steer was bought at auction the night before and was being brought in for processing when he bounced against the gate and managed to loosen a latch.

“He just caught it perfectly,” said Den Besten, who believes the animal’s instinct kicked in. “When he got to this point he didn’t want anything to do with it. He turned around on my employee.”

Den Besten says the escape was a fluke but bought the animal an extra hour of freedom as he and Bridgewater Police struggled to catch up with the animal and corral it. “Sometimes he was running pretty fast. Then I did lose sight for awhile and he was back in my sights again,” he said.

The steer ran through the property of Bridgewater-Raynham High School and into a nearby cemetery and apartment complex before making it to Bridgewater center.

The commotion was heard by witness Dennis Bunting. “We saw officers running down the streets with guns, it was a little scary. Then we heard shots,” said Bunting.

Police had finally trapped the panicked animal in a fenced-in area behind an insurance company. Den Besten says there was no choice but to put the animal down. “I told them to take matters into their own hands. I didn’t want to see anyone get hurt,” he said.

More from Beth Germano
  • Willow

    Oh come on Rob, why make such a comment? The poor animal was afraid and broke out. It’s happened before. It was probably more humane for him to be taken down by the police then it would have been at the slaughterhouse. The poor thing was going to die no matter who killed it. I suppose the slaughterhouses only kill black chickens and pigs then? Your comment was ridiculous.

  • sullyinma


    Once again you’ve proved that you have no class.

    Congratulations loser!

  • Rob Cleary

    Did they find a “throwdown” near the body? Small town cops are dangerous and should be avoided at all cost.

    • stinky


    • wowyoustink

      Your breath is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.

  • Rob Cleary

    Insert Black Angus joke here.

    • sullyinma


      Stick to your day job. Your attempt at humor misses the mark by a mile.

      • Rob Cleary

        Who asked for your worthless opinion?

      • sullyinma


        Who asked for your worthless jokes?



    • Rob Cleary

      Sully, are you a women? You whine like a women.

      • anonymous

        *woman* “Women” is plural, as in more than one, and therefore will never be preceded by the word “a”.

      • sullyinma

        As evidenced by his posts, Robbie is definitely not the brightest bulb on the tree.

      • sullyinma


        Are you a racist? Your posts indicate that you are.

  • Karen

    I think it is sad and tragic all the way around. People say “cows” don’t know what’s coming……want to bet? He was scared to death…and yes, he died ….. he never had a chance from the day he was born…..folks we don’t have the teethe of a carnivore….think about it. There is protein elsewhere…..I will get off of my soap box now….I just wish people would stop hiding behind the “wrappered” meat, as they do not want to deal with what they are really eating.

    • Anon

      “We don’t have the teeth of a carnivore”

      I suggest you smile and look in the mirror, you’ve got four canine (read: carnivorous) teeth

      • Provoked

        Technically those teeth are called cuspids – They are not suitable for bringing down a cow… Nor can we chase down rabbits – Or claw our way through the hide of a pig. Besides – Should our ethics be determined by our dentures?

    • salad...its whats not for dinner

      Wow…reading your posts and the responses to it just made me hungry for a cheeseburger. Now we have to kill another cow dang it.

    • stinky

      I am upset that I didn’t get a chance at shooting that critter. Shooting the bull is one of my favorite past times.

    • MarkW

      PETA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! = People Eating Tasty Animals!

      MEAT IS MURDER!!!!!!!!!!! Yes….tasty tasty Murder!

      • http://beaelliott.blogspot.com/ Provoked

        Hi MarkW – I’ve been itching to ask this question for a very long time… Guess this is your lucky day. Do you honestly think that’s an intelligent response? Do you really believe that that time-worn piece of “defense” gets any marks for originality or credibility? Or if you think about it… Truthfully… Can’t you see how it makes “your side” so utterly immature, disengaged and childish? Honestly, when I read this over and over on the web I see this chubby 14 year old wanna-be-somebody behind a keyboard. It’s not an intelligent response at all… Just sounds like a frustrated little mind trying to have the last (stoooopid) word.

        Now, run along Sonny – Come back when you can offer some valid and challenging replies that don’t waste band width or intelligent people’s time. Now scoot!

    • ged

      I totally agree … and can you even believe the quote in the last paragraph “had no choice to put the animal down” … as if there were any other fate for the poor beast. I’m not a vegetarian (although I used to be, before moving to France!) but it certainly makes you think about the organized slaughter of animals and how horrible there end must be for them. my sister owns a dairy in texas and when i visited once i would go out to the pasture every morning … the first few times they were unsure of me and trotted (sometimes “galloped”) away from me, especially those with calves … by the third or fourth day a couple started to come over to me and by the end of the week one of them with a calf that i had stroked came toward me and started to follow me back to the house. i stopped. my sister called out to me. “move away slowly! now!” … i didn’t and the cow never avoided eye contact and then rubbed her head against my chest and her calf stood there unafraid. i could really sense that there was a sort of emotional conscious or awareness — if it’s just instinct, then that’s all we humans are born with — parental (maternal) dependence, learned behavior, fear for survival…

    • Dave

      I don’t eat meat I don’t kill and butcher myself. Mainly because you have no idea whats going into it. That and deer meat is much leaner and tastes better.

      • Provoked

        Watch out for that chronic wasting disease… And the ticks… And the antibiotics too – Being that there are over 1500 deer “farms” in the U.S. They operate just like a factory farm – Fawns are “bottle fed” – Don’t even get raised “naturally” by the doe. After their cycle in the genetically modified “breeding herd” they are released for “hunter’s enjoyment”. Deer used to be under the Dept. of Natural Resources – They are now being moved to the Dept. of Agriculture as deer are now considered “livestock”. Butcher away Dave…

    • Provoked

      I’m with you Karen – We don’t “need” to kill sentient beings at all in order to thrive. It’s just killing for pleasure/taste – On the slaughterhouse floor or in the street. Sad and so wrong. :(

  • Glo**Ro

    These rants were all entertaining. Thanks for the laugh.

  • Chris

    I love watching and reading the posts from from tree huggers in the world, DON’T EAT THE COW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But Fish and Chicken are O.K., DON’T EAT THE MEAT IT WAS A LIVING BEING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But you eat the veggies in the Salad. OMG seriously grow up!!!!!! Someone Pass me the butter for my “Dead Potato” and a knife and Fork the tonights dinner!!!!! Plus one more thing hahahaha Cows would starve in a snow storm you tree huggers look it up on google why! then you will know that the “Steer” had no Idea that he was going to slaughter, the Farmer said that in the writing to make him sound friendly to you people hahahahaha

    • Goodness

      If they knew, they wouldn’t urinate and drop bombs in there water and food…..hhmmmm. Thank You Chris!

    • Provoked

      Vegetables aren’t sentient – i.e. “aware”… Maybe you should look that up on Google? Or go back to highschool biology 101?

      Truth is we can thrive on a plant based diet – Killing innocent beings is NOT necessary!

      • salad...its whats not for dinner

        Truth is you cannot thrive on a plant based diet. You can survive and thats about it.

      • Provoked

        Really? Not thrive? Might tell Bill Clinton that – The way I figure he has the best health care money can buy and his doctors all support his PLANT BASED diet that has reversed his heart disease. Where do you think all the animals you eat get their nutrition? PLANTS!

  • rmsbl4

    How many shots,or were they like the big city cops that couln’t hit the broad side of a barn.

  • Goodness

    We all have the right to eat beef and those don’t want to don’t have to. No one has to push their belief on anyone. And how can a racial joke even be thought of….really? Come on…get a life.

    • Provoked

      You may have the legal “right” but not the ethical one… Unless “survival” is at stake – Weren’t we all taught to cause as little harm to others as possible? Certainly if we can thrive on a plant based diet – Which we can… That seems to fit the “less harm” Golden Rule philosophy.

      “Beliefs” are all subject to challenge. If one is taking innocent life – You ought to have the gumption to take the questioning and to have valid reasoning that justifies your position. This is why there are forums such as this to enable “debate”. So what exactly is the basis of your “right” to eat beef aside from cultural (mob) permissions and the force of might?

      • Provoked

        “a person can live on one thing and one thing only for their whole life and that is breast milk.”

        Actually, you can’t live on breast milk alone – That’s why mammals eventually wean once they get teeth. All but human mammals that is – as humans continue into adulthood drinking the milk from other species.

        You couldn’t live well on any milk exclusively because protein from animal sources cause the blood to be acidic – The bones then leech calcium to counteract… You’d virtually be living off your bone strength and soon cripple/perish. Rickets comes to mind.

      • Goodness

        I grew up raising beef, hunting, fishing, eating vegies….guess I’m uncivilized and have no compassion for those who can’t speak for themselves….

      • salad...its whats not for dinner

        What is your right to eat at all? A study came out that a person can live on one thing and one thing only for their whole life and that is breast milk. If you are eating anything other than breast milk then where is your right?

      • Goodness

        And that is your belief and I respect that. I am not pushing my opinion or belief on anyone. That is my point. The individual who is making a racial debate out of this is ridiculous. We sure can survive on a plant based diet but I enjoy eating red meat. It is what it is.

      • Provoked

        But this is not “pushing an opinion”. I think people ought to watch a lot less t.v. I think they ought to dry their close on a line… Those are issues though that have no consequences to anyone else…

        It’s not the same with killing/eating nonhumans. A “civilized” and/or compassionate culture has the responsibility and/or obligation to speak up on behalf of victims who cannot speak in their own defense. I’d want someone to speak up for me – Bet you would too.

  • Kathy

    If the Steer didn’t know he was going to be killed why did he do everything he could to get away from all of it? Animals know a lot more than you city dwellers give them credit for. Killing him with a bullet was a much better way to die than him being killed by a big hammer!!

    • Provoked

      Even if nonhumans do or don’t know what they fear or why… Even if they do or don’t know that their lives are about to be taken — Humans know and disregard any empathy they might feel. They harden their hearts for the sake of what’s “customary” or “socially acceptable” – What’s tasty or profitable.

      If one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.
      -Ruth Harrison

    • salad...its whats not for dinner

      Really Kathy? I grew up on a farm and we had cows. They hated to go in the barn unless there was food in there and we sure weren’t trying to get them in the barn to kill them, it was milking time. He was scared because it was an unfamiliar place, plain and simple.

  • You are all funny!

    ROFL, god I love these comment logs between “I don’t eat anything that smiles.” vs “If it has a heartbeat, kill it and grill it.” You know what, you’re both wrong. Take your idealism out of your collective a$$ and use your brain for a change. @Provoked, you are nothing but a 4chan troll. It actually brightens my day to see you go mental on everything that does not agree with you. Unstable would be too kind. And as a matter of fact, vegetation is sentient. BBC, CNN, and Reuters just did articles on it. Read and learn. As for you carnivorous trouble makers. Seriously, some people have real problems with meat. Eat all the meat you want, but save your breath because we don’t want to hear about your superiority over the meek.

    This has been brought to you by the People for Hyperbole and Sarcasm.

  • Tim

    They didn’t have to kill him. Have they ever heard of a tranquilizer gun?

  • Rob Cleary

    Will there now be reparations?

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