Police officers shot dead 62 animals last year, including cows, dogs, deer, sheep and a wallaby, according to newly released data. Hundreds of rounds were fired at animals by police officers in the line of duty over the past four years. The NZ Herald asked for data under the Official Information Act which revealed a total of 1024 shots were fired between 2018 and 2022. Cattle or cows came in the firing line most commonly, often wandering on to public roads or highways and posing a high risk to motorists and the public. In the 12 months from November 1, 2021, police officers shot dead 28 cattle or cows, with 79 shots fired. In the same period, 10 dogs were killed, along with nine deer, seven sheep, two goats, two wild pigs and one domesticated pig, one horse, a lone wallaby, and even a hare. Officers are also sometimes needed to euthanise animals if an animal control officer is not available, and the animal is suffering. Last year, dramatic photos emerged of a rampaging runaway cow knocking down a police officer in Whanganui. Police eventually managed to contain one of the cows, but the other animal was put down after it got stuck in mud.