Cops have shot dead an escaped cow after patrolling a rural Wales street with sub-machine guns in pursuit of the animal.
The heifer made a mad dash for it from Welshpool Livestock Market on Monday morning, leaping over a cattle grid and running down a busy bypass.
Spencer Rogers, who witnessed the animal’s flight, said: ‘It just came up the road and went straight through the gate.’
Police rushed to the scene and were joined by farmers and an auctioneer who helped to locate the runaway animal and gauge the threat it posed to the community, according to Cascade News.
Officers cordoned off the property and blocked off the road while they stalked the streets for the cow and onlookers were ushered away for their safety.
After a two-and-a-half hour search and failed attempts to round up the animal safely, a police marksman was called in to ‘humanely destroy’ the heifer.
Armed with a rifle, the gunman set up a station at the back of the property and took aim at the black beast. Meanwhile, two colleagues stood ready with sub-machine guns to fire at the cow if it tried to bolt or became aggressive.
The incident took place just after 9am on Monday.
After fleeing the market, the cow took a right turn and ran up Salop Road, then turned down Erw Wen and continued straight on into the back garden of a property at the bottom of Bronwylfa Road.
Neighbours and a small crowd were moved away from the scene at around 12.05pm while the marksman fired four shots to take down the animal, which police said had caused them to fear for the safety of residents.
‘We received a report at approximately 9.10am this morning that a cow had escaped from Welshpool Livestock Market,’ a spokesman said.
‘The cow travelled some distance along public roads and into a residential area of Welshpool, there were concerns for the safety of the general public and police personnel together with a risk of damage to property within the area.
‘The animal was located within the grounds of a private property in the Gungrog Hill area of Welshpool.
‘A number of options to safely contain and deal with the cow were considered but none was found to be feasible and so, after seeking advice from experts, the only safe option left was to humanely destroy the animal.’
But horrified onlookers claimed police had over-reacted to the cow’s daring escape.
Julie Macleod, who witnessed the incident, told Cascade News: ‘That was awful. Why did they have to shoot it? There was no need, it was only a heifer. If it was a bull then I would understand but it’s only a heifer, it’s just cruel.’