Three young Moneymore bulls had a lucky escape when fire fighters called to their rescue managed to remove them from chest-deep bog water.
It is understood the Fire Service were alerted to the young animals’ plight by a passerby.
They are thought to have ventured into ‘the moss’ on Killybearn Road from some nearby land.
Explaining details of the incident, which involved firefighters from Cookstown as well as the large animal rescue team from Omagh, a spokesperson for the Fire Service said: “Three bulls were stuck chest deep in boggy ground.
“Firefighters rescued them using straps and slings.”
They went on to say the service has two specialist units trained for such eventualities.
Based in Omagh and Newcastle “they attend Large Animal Rescues all over Northern Ireland”.
“The Firefighters have been trained in working with large animals and in specialist rescue techniques and equipment to help safely rescue animals,” they said.
Following the incident, which took place on December 13, concerns have been raised locally about the cost of rescuing farm animals to the public.
A local man, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “I find this use of public resources outrageous.”
In response, the Fire Service spokesperson added: “NIFRS responds to Large Animal Rescue Incidents in order to help safely rescue animals and to avoid the animal owners taking unnecessary risks and perhaps endangering their own lives in order to try and rescue animals unassisted.”
They said the time of the firefighters involved as well as the cost of fuel to travel to and from the call-out totalled £531.
No additional overhead costs, such as rates, rent or electricity, were factored into this calculation.
The service were notified of the situation at exactly 4.41pm. It took them until 7.10pm to rescue all three animals.
A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs said: “While the responsibility for the welfare of farm animals lies with the farmer, the department gives a high priority to their welfare and operates a vigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance with regulatory requirements.
“Any breaches are investigated thoroughly and offenders prosecuted as necessary.”