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Farmer could face prosecution after cows on M1 motorway cause major traffic delays

Motorists on the M1 citybound lane endured delays yesterday after three cows were spotted walking on the motorway

A FARMER could face prosecution after three cows caused serious delays for morning rush hour traffic when they were found wandering on the busy M1 motorway.

The PSNI last night confirmed that the towner could be convicted and fined if found guilty.

The three runaway cows caused delays for drivers on the M1 after they were spotted walking on the outside lane of the Belfast-bound route.

Traffic came to a halt close to Ballyskeagh at around 7am after the animals appeared to have broken free from a nearby field.

They were moved off the motorway with a police escort and herded into a field close by.

However, commuters experienced delays for some time. Police later appealed to the owner of the three cows to contact them.

A police spokeswoman last night confirmed that a prosecution could result from the episode.

Under the Roads Northern Ireland Order 1993, it states that "if any animal is at any time found wandering or lying on or at the side of the road, the keeper thereof shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine".

The law also states that the keeper must show "he took reasonable precautions to prevent the animal from wandering onto the road".

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