Three cows have died after escaping a moving cattle truck in Taranaki this morning.

Police acting inspector Bruce Mackay said the he did not know how the cows managed to get out of the moving cattle truck south of Inglewood.

"Two were hit by another passing truck just south of Inglewood and were hit by another truck.''

He said another cow had been badly injured after it had been dragged while trapped between the cattle truck and the road.

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"A vet is on the way to put it down, it's too badly injured,'' he said.

Police would be investigating how the cows managed to get out of the moving truck.