Hamilton Police are commending the actions of animal control officers responsible for the euthanasing of three cattle beasts that had broken free from a truck on a busy Hamilton thoroughfare on Tuesday.
City Response Manager, Inspector Karen Henrikson, said in any situation such as this responding agencies were tasked with maintaining a balance between public safety and the safe and humane management of the animals concerned.
"The incident is currently under review but initial indications are three cattle beasts have escaped off the back of a truck near the roundabout linking the Avalon Dr bypass with Norton Rd about 3.30pm.
"One animal has broken a leg in its bid to escape and it and another steer wandered off north of where the truck was but a white steer has posed particular problems, walking into traffic and becoming highly agitated."
Ms Henrikson said the steer was eventually shot by Hamilton City Council animal control staff, under the supervision of Police who were managing the incident.
"This euthanasing was assessed as the most humane method of dealing with the situation and was carried out in consultation with the animal's owner.
"These situations are complex in that you need to be very careful with the placement of shots due to the risk posed to bystanders. Our staff reported the job was made all the more difficult by one man refusing to move away and a member of the media who placed himself in the line of fire, our advice in such situations is to follow the directions of officers and move away from the area."
Having put down the animal posing the most immediate threat to the public Police then supervised the shooting of the remaining two animals by an experienced butcher, after consultation with the owner.