A police officer who used his police car to ram an escaped cow has been removed from frontline duties, Surrey Police said.

The incident happened on Friday at around 8.55pm after the force received reports that a cow was running loose in Staines-upon-Thames.

Deputy Chief Constable Nev Kemp said: “I fully appreciate the distress our handling of this incident has caused and will ensure that it is thoroughly and diligently investigated.

"In addition to an internal referral to our Professional Standards Department, we have also referred the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) for independent consideration.

“At this time, the officer who was driving the police car has been removed from frontline duties pending the outcome of these investigations.

“I know there is much concern around the current welfare of the cow.

"She is now back with her owner and recuperating with her herd.

"She did sustain a large cut to one leg and cuts and grazes.

"She continues to be monitored by a vet and our rural officers are staying in contact with the owner for updates.

“I can confirm that on the night, efforts were made to contact local vets without success and efforts were simultaneously being made to identify the owner.

"Why these were unsuccessful and what more could and should have been done will form a key part of the investigation.

“As well as our overriding duty to protect the public, the welfare of animals is important to us and we know people want answers about how this happened and what led up to it.

"I am committed to ensuring that we have a full understanding of what took place and why, and we will fully support any investigation.

"I have also briefed the Home Office on what action we are taking and we are liaising with several animal charities that have been in touch with us about this incident.”

The owner of a young cow that suffered grazes and bruises after being rammed by a police car described the incident as “horrific”.

Footage online appeared to show the 10-month-old calf, named Beau Lucy, hit by a police car twice on a residential road in Feltham, west London, suffering grazes and bruises as a result.

Rob, who does not wish to give his surname, in his 60s, told the PA news agency: “I think the video speaks for itself. It was quite horrific.

“The method of dealing with the situation was incorrect. It was wrong and I think that’s the message we’ve learned. It could have been handled so much better. The videos were an upsetting sight.”

He added a vet should have been involved in Beau Lucy’s rescue.

“I don’t understand why (the police) didn’t use a tranquilising dart,” he said. “If they used a tranquilising dart the animal would have calmed right down and gone over (the car) if they needed to get a halter on it or restrain it.”

Rob said Beau Lucy is “a lot better” and recovering well, but added: “Time will tell because we don’t know what internal injuries she might have. But she’s eating and she’s cudding so there’s always promise when there’s that.”