Cow in trailerLibrary image © FLPA/REX/Shutterstock

A farmer has spoken of the nightmare situation which saw a trailer-load of calves escape on to one of Scotland’s busiest roads resulting in three of them being killed.

Alastair Grindley, who rents ground in the Stirling and Aberfeldy area, was travelling down the A9 late at night having bought 14 store calves at a sale in Portree on the Isle of Skye earlier that day.

“I decided to have a check on them and noticed that one had gone down,” he said.

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“I went in to try and get it up and as I was tying up the gate they just got past me and out on to the road.

“I got them into a wooded area and closed the gate to come back in the morning.”

However, through the night the calves got back onto the A9, a notorious accident blackspot and the main arterial route linking Inverness and Perth.

Calves put down

Two of the calves were killed by traffic and another had to be put down.

Mr Grindley, who has 90 head of cattle, said the first he was aware of any major incident was when he was phoned by Dingwall and Highlands Marts in the morning, after the animals’ holding of birth was traced by their ear tags.

The warning of cows being loose on the road was first raised at 4am.

The remaining calves were rounded up and taken to a nearby farm.

Asked how he felt after the incident, Mr Grindley said: “It was not exactly handy.”