By Richard Hartley-Parkinson
Police marksmen missed first shot but killed cow when they got closer
Belgian Blue became 'distressed and aggressive' during three-hour ordeal
Cow jumped over fences and charged at people, police said
Police marksmen have shot dead a cow after it escaped and headed to a primary school
Officers set up a 20 metre exclusion zone and prevented parents from picking up their children and shot it after the RSPCA deemed it as a threat to public safety.
However, a Facebook page has now been set up to protest against the decision to kill the Belgian Blue outside the school in Grantham, Lincolnshire.
The escaped Belgian Blue was 'dispatched' after it became aggressive near a primary school.
Police marksmen were seen on top of a van near to the scene - they missed their target on the first shot but killed the cow on the second.
Police gunmen were seen on top of a white van near to the scene. The first shot missed its target but a second shot fired from nearer to the cow proved fatal.
Jacob Hoyes commented: 'It's a cow, how is it dangerous?' while fellow resident Sean Fico labelled the police operation 'pathetic'.
Zach Selby added: 'Its a cow .. there were loads of ways the (sic) capture that cow!! not by f****** shooting it in a primary school playground!!
'This town is a joke! its a disgrace!! the police should be ashamed of themselves!! there was no need! when the little kids find out that cow was shot in their playground they will be upset!! its a disgrace. (sic)'
Fellow user Michelle Susan Knowles commented: 'Ridiculous! Poor cow and farmer, he's now lost a cow for no real reason... Why didn't they contact a vet????'
A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police said: 'This incident was first reported to the police at 2:47pm on Monday March 25 2013 when a cow escaped from a field in the vicinity of Sandon Road, Grantham.
'The cow was followed around various roads and streets including Signal Road, Harrowby Lane and Belton Grove, whilst becoming increasingly distressed and aggressive.
'It jumped fences and ran towards members of the public and police officers on several occasions.
Children and school staff nearby were evacuated while the cow was dealt with.
'Police officers consulted the RSPCA and the owner of the animal in an effort to resolve the matter peacefully but it became apparent that the animal posed a real danger to members of the public.
'Armed police officers attended the scene and the cow was shot dead in the grounds of Belton Lane Community Primary School at around 5:20pm.'
During the operation, Sergeant Adrian Wootten from Lincolnshire Police said that the female cow posed a threat to public safety and there was no other alternative than to shoot it.
Sergeant Wootten said children and staff had been evacuated and moved to a safer area.
He said, 'It is regrettable and sad that the incident ended with the escaped cow being dispatched by an armed police officer with a rifle.
'We tried everything we could to capture the animal but it became increasingly distressed, aggressive and unpredictable.
'The cow was shot in the grounds of Belton Lane Community Primary School when the pupils and most of the staff had left the area.
'I would like to thank the local community for their cooperation and understanding during the course of the incident.
'The safety of the public was paramount in our thinking throughout the event.'
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