RESIDENTS of a quiet cul-de-sac were left shocked and scared when armed police were deployed to their street. 

A large female cow was seen roaming through gardens and roads in the area of Newfield Drive in Carlisle. 

Police were called to contain the cow at about 12pm today, before armed officers shot the animal dead two hours later. 

Part of Newfield Drive, just off Kingstown Road had been cordoned off by police to contain the cow, which was first spotted by eyewitnesses on the opposite side of Kingstown Road.

A spokesman for Cumbria Police said: "Police were called at about 12pm today to the report of a cow loose in the Kingstown area.

"The cow, which was in a highly distressed state, was destroyed by armed officers following concerns for the public and motorists.

"Efforts were made to resolve the situation safely, however given the potential danger and the increased stress on the animal a decision was taken to conclude the incident as quickly and humanely as possible."

Following the police action, a resident who lives close to the scene said: "They had no choice at all, if that thing had got loose or gone crackers it could have crashed through a fence and caused some damage.

"I was at work and got back at about 1.40pm, and the armed police were here."

Describing the situation earlier, eyewitness Lesley Lawson said: "My daughter couldn't get in to the cul-de-sac due to the police cordon.

"She phoned me and told me to look out of the window.

"I couldn't believe a cow was standing on the neighbour's drive.

"It's been there for an hour or so having a little wander.

"It looks quite calm at the moment but I know how dangerous cows can be. I'm still confined to the house at the moment."

Passers-by were bemused by the surprising scene unfolding in the usually quiet Carlisle suburb.

Emma Ostridge, 19, who lives on Newfield Park, said: "I just drove past and saw it in a garden and saw lots of police. "I didn't know what was happening."

Richard Holmes, 72, also of Newfield Park, said: "I took the dog for a walk, went down California Road and saw a guy stood on the other side of the road and thought - 'what is that'? 

"I then saw another guy with a stick and then I saw this cow and, I had to double take. "

The cow was earlier seen by eyewitnesses shortly before midday calmly wandering near Kingstown Road, opposite the Dream Day spa.

An eyewitness who captured the cow on video said: "I don’t know how it got there.

"There was a cattle truck parked outside Arnold Clark’s and the driver was running around."