THREE cows had to be shot during tests for bovine TB.

A joint operation was being carried out between the police, Wrexham Council, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Animal Health Agency at a farm in Chirk when the three animals started behaving dangerously and were shot at the request of the farmer.

A spokesman for the Welsh Assembly Government said the operation was carried out as a result of the farmer – who has not been named – failing to comply with TB regulations.

The spokesman said: “All cattle herds in Wales have to be tested for bovine TB at least once a year. We have a zero tolerance approach to farmers who don’t comply with the law as they are potentially putting neighbouring farms at risk.

“In this case the farmer had refused to test his cattle. Animal Health, the government agency responsible for carrying out the TB tests, therefore obtained a warrant to enforce the overdue tests and, together with officials from Wrexham County Council, visited the farm to carry out the tests.

“At the scene, three of the cattle were behaving dangerously and became a risk to the safety of individuals.

“They had to be shot. This was done by a contractor at the request of the farmer.”

Locals reported hearing gunshots from their nearby homes.

One woman, who did not want to be identified, said: “It was a big operation with police and other official looking people taking part. There were two to three quad bikes and several Land Rovers around.”

A spokesman for North Wales Police said: “We attended on the execution of a warrant. Officers were working with trading standards.”