Whanganui residents have criticised the actions of a police officers who shot dead a cow causing chaos in the streets of of the city this morning.

“It was dangerous for the police to be shooting with kids walking to school grab,” said another Whanganui resident.

However, the Royal New Zealand SPCA says police were within their rights to take down the cow in the interests of public safety.

Ric Odom, CEO of the RNZSPCA, says the officer made a quick decision when dealing with the runaway cow and was not able to wait for animal control to arrive.

Mr Odom says the fact the cow was shot multiple times is something the RNZSPCA would be concerned about but under these circumstances it appears the officer made the right decision for public safety.

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