POLICE have issued a statement in response to a video showing one of their police cars mowing down an escaped cow.

A cow seen walking on Wokingham Road, Woodley last night (Mary 13) was struck by a police car before falling over.

The incident has been described as 'barbaric' prompting the public to ask why the cow wasn't dealt with in a more 'humane way'.

However, police said the cow was causing a "significant danger to motorists" and even charged at a member of the public causing her minor injury. A police officer was also taken to hospital with injuries.

READ MORE: Shocking footage of police car hitting runaway cow

Reading Chronicle:

As a result, Thames Valley Police decided to stop the cow and "prevent it from charging towards other members of the public."

In a statement to the Chronicle, a Thames Valley Police spokesman said: "Thames Valley Police officers were called yesterday at about 7.40pm following reports that a cow was loose on a road near to the A329M in Wokingham which was causing a significant danger to motorists.

READ MORE: Animal rights group calls for 'disciplinary action' after police car rams runaway cow

"Officers attended the scene, closed the road and attempts were made over a period of time to contain the animal.

"The cow then moved to a residential area of Woodley. Despite efforts of both the police and the farmer to whom the animal belonged, the cow could not be safely brought under control.

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"The cow became increasingly distressed and charged at a member of the public causing her minor injury, as well as causing injuries to a TVP officer and damage to vehicles ."

Police admitted that they used one of their cars to stop the cow from running ahead, after all other attempts including tranquillisation had been unsuccessful.

The force said it then used a private company to "humanely euthanise" the cow.

Adding: "This decision whilst not taken lightly, was necessary to limit the suffering of the animal, to prevent further injury and to ensure the safety of the public."

A Thames Valley Police officer has since been discharged from hospital and is recovering at home.

Following last night's events, police said they'd like to reassure residents that the actions were "necessary and were only taken due to the need to protect the public, and were carried out in a way to minimise suffering to the animal".