A 10 second video which shows an officer with the Ontario Provincial Police killing an injured deer with an axe in Kenora has begun to go viral and prompted an internal investigation by the OPP's Professional Standards Unit.
OPP became aware of the video soon after the incident on September 3rd, where two officers attempted to dispatch a deer which was suffering, by using the side of an axe.
The video sees one officer wind up and swing, hitting the deer in the side of the head, before losing his grip on the axe, causing it to go airborne in the opposite direction.
It is undetermined if the blow killed the deer outright as the clip ends within seconds of the hit.
In a statement OPP spokesperson Bill Dickson says the service understands witnessing an event as depicted can be difficult and regrets any distress viewing the video may cause.
He also notes this is not how situations like this are to be resolved.
"This is not the way OPP officers are trained or are expected to deal with this type of scenario. The Police Services Act specifically allows for use of police issued firearms to dispatch a suffering animal. This is also covered in annual training for our officers."
The incident is not considered a criminal matter, but an internal complaint investigation is now underway to determine if there were any conduct and/or policy violations.
As well the OPP will be reviewing the incident from a training perspective.