'Near misses' on state highway behind cow cull

The Ruapehu District Council says it had no choice but to shoot cattle that had been wandering onto a national highway. Photo / Thinkstock
The Ruapehu District Council says it had no choice but to shoot cattle that had been wandering onto a national highway. Photo / Thinkstock

Several cows have been shot over fears a motorist could be injured or killed in a collision with one of the wandering animals.

The cattle had been wandering onto SH47 near National Park and causing vehicle accidents and near misses, the Ruapehu District Council (RDC) said.

"I have personally attended one vehicle collision with a cattle beast that required the animal to be shot and have heard of other near misses," said RDC Team Compliance Officer, Wayne O'Shannessey.

The cattle had been constantly wandering onto the highway and there were fears it was only a matter of time before someone was hurt or killed in a collision, RDC said.

"A collision between a car and a cattle beast will invariably write-off the car and there is a very high likelihood that the driver or passengers will be seriously injured if not killed."

"It is almost impossible to see a cow on the road on a dark night out in the country," Mr O'Shannessey said.

"The cattle are not wild but due to the state of the surrounding fences and the nearest cattle yard being unsuitable to hold the animals a muster was not a viable option.

"Council gets numerous calls about stock being on the roads from around the district.

"This is a timely reminder for farmers to ensure their stock cannot roam and are secure in their paddocks."

The joint agency shooting operation, targeting seven of a mob of 15 to 20 beasts, was carried out yesterday by RDC, the Department of Conservation (DOC) and police.

- APNZ

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