They said they were called “due to a number of cows which have made their way onto the carriageway.”
“We've set speeds and lane closures to warn approaching traffic,” Highways England added in a tweet.
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Motorway camera pictures show the cows then made their way onto the Junction 35 northbound exit slip road, approaching the roundabout.
And in another update at about 7am, Highways England said traffic had been completely “stopped” between the junctions, “to allow police to round up the remainder of the cows which are still on the nearside verge”.
The incident caused severe delays and congestion.
In their following and final update, the organisation said traffic has now been released and all lanes had reopened on the stretch of motorway.
"There's approximately 2 miles of slow moving traffic in the area but this should now start to ease,” Highways England said.
"Thanks for your patience.”