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'There was a lot of blood ... it was quite horrific' - Whanganui cop draws criticism for shooting cow

Whanganui residents have criticised the actions of a police officers who shot dead a cow causing chaos in the streets of of the city this morning.

Police admit it would have been traumatic to watch but insist the cow had to be killed for public safety. Source: 1 NEWS

The cows actions included charging at a cop and a man in a wheelchair.

“There was a lot of blood … it was going down the gutter,” said one local resident.

“It was still kicking, [it] didn't die instantly, so it was quite horrific.”

Source: 1 NEWS

A nearby school teachers said it was a "bit unnecessary" because the cow "wasn't exactly on a rampage".

“It was dangerous for the police to be shooting with kids walking to school grab," said another Whanganui resident.

However, the Royal New Zealand SPCA says police were within their rights to take down the cow in the interests of public safety.

Ric Odom, CEO of the RNZSPCA, says the officer made a quick decision when dealing with the runaway cow and was not able to wait for animal control to arrive.

Mr Odom says the fact the cow was shot multiple times is something the RNZSPCA would be concerned about but under these circumstances it appears the officer made the right decision for public safety.

"Shooting a moving target is hard, even if it’s a large cow."

The cow was running down a busy residential area in Whanganui when it was shot by police. Source: Supplied

Earlier Constable Luke Cranstone from Whanganui Police told the Whanganui Chronicle that the cow appeared to be a calf and had begun its antics in Puriri St in the suburb of Gonville at 7.45am.

"We got down to Kauri St, and we tried to contain it in an empty section until animal control arrived, but it wasn't interested in that," Mr Cranstone told the paper.

"It tried charging me a couple of times and I had to hit it with my baton. It nearly knocked me off my feet."

Police also tried to move the cow towards a nearby golf course, and say it had charged a man on a mobility scooter who was waiting at a pedestrian crossing.

It then headed towards a school, which prompted the lethal course of action.

There was a real risk that it could have caused serious injury - Senior Sergeant Paul Baskett

Video with colourful commentary was provided to ONE News by a pair following the action from their car shows the cow running alongside a police car before the vehicle pulls over.

An officer gets out of the car, and is forced to fire as the animal heads towards them.

It carried on running down the street, before police catch up with it and a number of other shots are fired into it.

"This incident happened at a busy time in full view of the public and we appreciate this must have been a traumatic event to have witnessed." said Senior Sergeant Paul Baskett of Whanagnui police.

"However public safety will always be our first consideration in these situations and our staff acted based on their immediate safety concerns at the time.

"This was a big animal and had they not acted there was a real risk that it could have caused serious injury."

One animal welfare groups says it is hard to fault the actions of the police officer who shot and killed a cow on a busy Whanganui street this morning.

Ric Odom, CEO of the RNZSPCA, says the officer had to make a quick decision when dealing with the runaway cow and obviously was not able to wait for animal control to arrive.

Mr Odom says the fact the cow was shot multiple times is something the RNZSPCA would be concerned about but under these circumstances it appears the officer made the right decision for public safety.

He says, “shooting a moving target is hard, even if it’s a large cow.”

One animal welfare groups says it is hard to fault the actions of the police officer who shot and killed a cow on a busy Whanganui street this morning.

Ric Odom, CEO of the RNZSPCA, says the officer had to make a quick decision when dealing with the runaway cow and obviously was not able to wait for animal control to arrive.

Mr Odom says the fact the cow was shot multiple times is something the RNZSPCA would be concerned about but under these circumstances it appears the officer made the right decision for public safety.

He says, “shooting a moving target is hard, even if it’s a large cow.”