Eight cows shot to death after wandering into an army firing range

Eight cows have been killed after wandering into the line of fire at an Army training range in the UK despite an earlier check for livestock before the exercise began

Defence officials confirmed the animals had died at the Castlemartin Range in Pembrokeshire.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the range had been checked for livestock before the exercise had started, but the cows then entered the area.

The Defence Accident Investigation Branch has been informed and a serious incident report is being prepared.

“Much of Castlemartin Training Area is grazed by cows and sheep,” said an MoD official on Friday.

“On 10th July some cattle moved in to the firing area after it was confirmed to be clear, but before firing started.

“They could not be seen by the unit training and unfortunately a number of cows were shot and killed or injured.

“Their presence was noticed by the Range Conducting Officer who immediately halted the exercise.”

The Castlemartin Range is one of a dozen Army training estates in the UK.

Officials said in addition to the eight cattle killed, another four were injured.

The MoD said part of the range land “like many MoD training areas” is leased to a tenant farmer.

“The farmer has been informed and made aware of his rights,” added a spokesman.

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