Two police firearms officers who allegedly beat an injured deer to death with a crowbar will face a gross misconduct hearing.
The two men, understood to be Andrew Pittilla and Brian Clewlow, had been sent to destroy the animal after it was hit by a vehicle in Tanfield Lea, County Durham.
But claims surfaced afterwards that, instead of using their firearms to kill the animal, they bludgeoned it to death.
A file had been submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), but it decided that the officers would not be charged with any criminal offence.
Durham Constabulary said the pair will now face an internal gross misconduct hearing before the end of this year regarding the incident that took place in June.
A police spokesman said: “We have been informed by the CPS of their decision that the two officers will not be charged with criminal offences but should instead be dealt with under Police Misconduct Regulations.
“Durham Constabulary is confident that the regulations provide a timeframe with which all relevant parties need to comply and will ensure a considered and fully informed resolution.
“It is expected a gross misconduct hearing will be held before the end of this calendar year.”
When the allegation was first made the officers were moved to other duties and were not involved in a firearms capacity.
The police said it was not unusual for firearms officers to be deployed when a deer or other large animal is clearly suffering after being struck by a vehicle and the best action would be for it to be destroyed humanely.