Addressing public comments, Lincolnshire Police explained why they had to shoot dead an escaped cow in Lincolnshire earlier this week.
The incident happened on March 25, when a cow escaped from a field near Grantham and ran along a number of streets, until stopping at Belton Lane Community Primary School.
The animal became increasingly distressed and aggressive, leading officers to decide to shoot the cow.
According to police, the animal was in a residential area, posing a risk to safety. A number of resources were deployed to the area in the hope of safely removing the animal rather than killing it.
After over two hours trying to capture the cow, police re-examined their options, which included sedation of the cow. The RSPCA and the owner were also consulted.
While the police were trying to contain the cow in the grounds of the school, a number of people came to watch the incident, causing the cow more stress.
Police then feared the cow might jump the fence and go back through the residential area.
The police fired fours shots at the cow, all of which hit the animal.
In a statement, police added: “This is a rural county and we deal with dozens of similar incidents every year without them ending in the death of the animal.
“Generally these animals escape onto roads in remote locations. In this type of situation the road can be closed and the animal can be herded to safety.
“On this occasion the animal was roaming in a built up residential area and posed a serious risk to safety. In a situation like this the preservation of human life takes precedence.”