Five cars were damaged in a pile-up caused by an escaped cow straying onto a major motorway in West Lothian, police have reported.
None of the drivers of the vehicles or their passengers were badly injured in the incident, although the cow died at the scene.
The accident happened on the M9, which links Edinburgh and Dunblane, after a car swerved to avoid the animal, which had wandered onto the eastbound carriageway.
After the first vehicle managed to dodge the cow, it collided with another car, setting off a chain reaction which ended in five cars coming to a standstill near the village of Wincburgh.
Fire crews, police and paramedics were called to the scene, but luckily only minor injuries were reported among those travelling in the cars.
The eastbound carriageway had to be closed as efforts were made to move the animal's carcass from the road.
While the drivers will be thankful to have had such a lucky escape, they now face the prospect of filing claims on their car insurance policies.
© The Press Association 2008