Peta calls for investigation over Norwich cow shootings

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Media captionJoe Copson filmed the cows on the loose in Norwich

A "thorough" investigation should be held into why police shot dead three cows seen running on roads in Norwich, an animal rights charity has said.

The animals were shot by marksmen on Saturday after they escaped and ran on roads including the A140 Ipswich Road.

Peta said there was usually a way to "round up frightened cows without the use of lethal force".

Norfolk Police said the cows acted "unpredictably" and charged at officers and members of the public.

Two of the cows were shot dead after they were found in a "wooded area". The third ran away after being shot and was found dead on Sunday morning, in Marston Lane.

Police said they had escaped from Norwich Cattle Market, where they were being prepared to be taken to slaughter.

Image copyright Joe Copson
Image caption Police said the owner of the cows was consulted throughout the incident

The force said it "continually" liaised with the owner of the cows about whether the animals could be recaptured, and eventually on the decision to kill them.

But a spokesman for Peta said local authorities should "investigate this incident thoroughly".

"Although it may sometimes be appropriate for dangerous situations involving animals, questions must be answered about how these cows came to be loose on a public highway, a situation dangerous not only for drivers but also for the cows, who ended up as the victims," he said.

"Three animals, who likely spent the last five hours of their lives terrified by helicopters and police vehicles, are dead, and if the farmer is found to have been negligent, he should be punished to the full extent of the law."

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