Sunday, May 25, 2008

Raging bull: Police shoot-out as beast makes a bid for freedom across a major road

This was certainly not your average road hog, in fact when a bull went rampaging across a busy dual carriageway armed police had to be called in.

A police marksman took aim at bull after it managed to break out from a livestock centre and wander onto the road.

Motorists were thrown into chaos as many drivers reported near collisions with the beast as it bolted between lanes on the A64 near York.

As lengthy tailbacks developed the police became involved in a stand-off with the confused creature.

The road was cleared for two hours until the bull was finally killed by police marksmen - seen taking aim on the top of a van.

One elderly couple's Vauxhall Vectra collided with the bull but luckily they were unhurt.

One shocked driver said: "The bullock was standing on the verge of the road and police were keeping about 50 metres away from it."Traffic was backing up both ways as far as you could see.

"Then the police marksmen arrived with rifles. One of them took to the roof of a police van to get a higher vantage point.

"The marksman lay down and took up a shooting position, but the bullock then started moving about.

"It made a dash for it and headed off down the embankment. Police ran after it then it ran back before its path became blocked by a fence.

"One of the marksman despatched it with a single shot. It was quite shocking to watch."

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said the animal had escaped from a nearby livestock centre and had been destroyed with its owner's permission. The spokesman added: "When a cow or bull escapes from a farm they become extremely agitated and pose a real danger to members of the public.

"Due to its distressed state farmers effectively have to write the animal off and authorise it to be destroyed by the police or a vet.

"This is not something the police enjoy doing but it is the safest way to deal with the situation.

"While this incident resulted in only minor damage to the car it could have been more serious or even fatal."


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