Kaitoke farmer Tony Skews said thieves who shot and butchered his prize cow on Monday night are "gutless pieces of junk".
Mr Skews, who keeps just 15 cows on his property near Lake Wiritoa, said the animal had been shot with a .22 rifle and badly butchered by "amateurs".
"They have taken the back steak and four legs and just left the rest," he said.
"She was the fattest cattle beast on the property and this loss has cost me about $1500."
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The farmer said he had owned the Hereford cow for about six months and she would have sold at the end of winter for $1800.
"I just hope this will make people in the area more vigilant so this doesn't happen to someone else," he said.
The farm is near the turn-off to State Highway 3, and Mr Skew's home is up the hill from the roadside paddock where the cows were.
"None of the neighbours heard anything although they are closer to the road," said Mr Skews.
The crime had been reported but the Chronicle was unable to obtain any information from Whanganui Police yesterday.