Traffic cops must get to see some strange things in between routine stops, and this incident was certainly one to remember.
Police in the north of England were shocked to see a small car drive past with a sheep in the back seat. The poor animal was far too big for the back of the Peugeot 206, and caught the attention of officers, writes Alissa Greenberg for TIME.
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“Two bald tires and a sheep in the boot”
Given that the large animal was in such a small vehicle, police were worried that it might be an “insecure load,” according to local paper the Northern Echo. Not only was he carrying some unlikely cargo, two of his tires were almost completely worn out.
The man defended his actions during the traffic stop. He allegedly told police that he liked to take the sheep from his farm with him in the car, and he was on his way to McDonald’s. “Some people take their dogs in their cars, I take my sheep,” he reportedly told the cops.
Officers saw the funny side of the incident, and did not miss the chance to make a pun. “He seemed fine to be honest — although he obviously felt a little sheepish when we pointed out the two bald tires,” police officer Chris Marlow told the Northern Echo.
Man and sheep allowed to continue on their way to McDonald’s
The North Yorkshire Police Roads Policing Group later uploaded a photo of the car to Twitter, along with a caption which read: “Ewe have got to be kidding!!!”
After assessing the situation, officers allowed the man to continue on his journey. They concluded that the sheep was no more dangerous than a large dog, but he did get a ticket for driving with unsafe tires.
Any English sheep owners who previously refrained from taking their animals with them while they run errands can now presumably drive around with their animals without fear. It seems that a precedent has been set, although animal protection groups might have something to say about feeding a sheep a McDonald’s burger.