Brave UK cops in SWAT gear machine gun a cow

Wearing body armour and helmets and brandishing sub-machine guns, these police officers are leaving nothing to chance as they hunt down their quarry.

Is it a cornered knife maniac they are about to confront  – or a bank robber toting a sawn-off shotgun?

Er, no. They’re up against an escaped cow – a terrified young heifer which has made a dash for freedom from a livestock market.

Heifer hunting: Police armed with sub-machine guns, pictured, patrolled a street in rural Wales before shooting an escaped cow

Heifer hunting: Police armed with sub-machine guns, pictured, patrolled a street in rural Wales before shooting an escaped cow.

The animal leapt over a cattle grid and ran down a bypass and residential streets in the town of Welshpool in central Wales.

Police were called – and soon  officers arrived armed with  Heckler and Koch semi- automatic machine guns.

The cow’s freedom was shortlived because when the animal had been cornered it was shot dead.

Last night residents in the town condemned the police reaction.

Shot: Police said attempts to round up the animal, pictured, failed so they had to 'destroy' it

Shot: Police said attempts to round up the animal, pictured, failed so they had to ‘destroy’ it.

Team effort: Local farmers and an auctioneer, pictured, assisted police in locating the cow

Team effort: Local farmers and an auctioneer, pictured, assisted police in locating the cow.

Julie Macleod, who saw the incident, said the response  was ‘over the top’.

She said: ‘It 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.’  Another resident said: ‘It was completely unnecessary. Farmers have to catch runaway cows all the time so they didn’t have to go and shoot it dead like that. I think it’s dreadful.

‘Why didn’t they let it calm down and then take it back to the market? It’s wrong and a massive over-reaction.’

The drama happened just after 9am on Monday when the animal fled the livestock market and ended up in the back garden of a house.

Police officers were joined by farmers and an auctioneer as they tried to assess how agitated the animal was.

The property was cordoned off and after more than two hours a police marksman was called in to put the heifer down.

As he set up station at the rear of the property with his rifle, two colleagues stood ready with sub-machine guns. Bystanders were moved away while the marksman fired four shots to kill the heifer.

Concerned: Residents, pictured, feared for their safety with the cow on the loose, however some said the shooting was 'over the top'

Concerned: Residents, pictured, feared for their safety with the cow on the loose, however some said the shooting was ‘over the top’.

Mad dash: Witnesses, pictured, saw the plucky heifer make a dash for it from Welshpool Livestock Market on Monday

Mad dash: Witnesses, pictured, saw the plucky heifer make a dash for it from Welshpool Livestock Market on Monday.

A police spokesman said: ‘We received a report at approximately 9.10am this morning that a cow had escaped from Welshpool Livestock Market.

‘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 only safe option left was to humanely destroy the animal.’

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2213282/Welshpool-Livestock-Market-Police-armed-sub-machine-guns-stalk-streets-hunting-runaway-COW.html

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