Rotorua police officers tonight found themselves doubling as farmers as they herded horses and pigs off a main highway.
Police were called about 6pm to State Highway 30 south of Rotorua, near the Youth Justice Centre, after reports of two horses wandering on the road.
Senior Constable Regan Framp of the Rotorua police said staff were called by a member of the public after the horses got out of a nearby farm when a gate was left unlocked.
He said one horse was black and the other dark brown, posing a risk for night-time traffic on the usually busy open road.
"They were wandering all over the road and luckily there was only light traffic because if they had been hit, it could have caused a fatality or serious injury."
He said the horses made their way to the driveway of the Youth Justice Centre but then he saw three pigs had also broke free from their pen on the same farm.
"I came back and found the pigs and thought 'what's going on here'."
Mr Framp said police staff with the help of the Rotorua Lakes Council's Animal Control Unit and neighbouring farmers were able to get the horses and pigs safely back behind a locked gate.
He said about six vehicles had to be stopped while they got the situation under control.
He said the Animal Control Unit would now be deal with the matter with the animals' owners.