man killed by cows

(50 Posts)
specialsubject Wed 15-May-13 16:20:32

very sad story here:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-22542876

I've had a scare like this, because being a townie at the time I didn't know the issue. It seems that cows (especially with calves) may attack if there is a dog around. The trick apparently is a) not to take the dog into the field with the cows and b) if the cows appear suddenly, to let the dog go. It will easily outrun the cows and you will be left alone.

so I had a near miss, and this poor man did not. Perhaps mentioning it here will stop it happening to someone else.

Bowlersarm Wed 15-May-13 16:23:45

I've been aware of this over past few years. Every year a number of walkers are killed by cows. I never walk directly across a field with cows in. I always walk round the outside with the idea being I can try and get through a hedge, or I could get some type of protection hopefully.

I think the same thing happened to a lady a couple of years ago?

Very sad. It's so obvious to me living in the country but I suppose if you don't live around farms you wouldn't have a clue.

Branleuse Wed 15-May-13 16:26:15

I sometimes run through a farm field with a footpath at the edge but if the cows are near the path I change my route. why would anyone go through a field of massive beasts

piprabbit Wed 15-May-13 16:27:19

I think this happens more often than we realise, especially when there are dogs involved.

GreenShadow Wed 15-May-13 16:38:22

Where I live we have cattle let loose on open land round us for the summer here

The main problem is cows being hit by cars but you do occasionally hear of a walker being attacked and then it is almost always because they have walked between a mother and her calf.

HoneyDragon Wed 15-May-13 16:38:35

I frigging hate cows.

I was walking through a field home from school when some one new to the village walked through with their dog off lead angry it went round the calves so cue 40 pissed off cows.

I legged it up a tree. The dog owner legged it leaving me there. Then the landowner came out and enquired if I wanted to get down.

The dog owner in question was later discovered and thoroughly told off.

Cows are scary.

MysteriousHamster Thu 16-May-13 16:25:23

Sad. I remember doing my Duke of Edinburgh award and walking round the Lake District. We went through lots of fields with cows and I recall being a bit nervous once - but we had no warning and no thought that they could actually hurt us. Mind you we had no dogs in tow.

Salbertina Thu 16-May-13 20:24:45

Cows v v scary, hate going thro field with them in.

MrLevanterSleet Thu 16-May-13 20:31:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

edam Thu 16-May-13 22:52:56

Very sad.

I wonder why dog walkers don't realise that cows may react badly to the dog trespassing on their turf and may be spooked? And that, if spooked, cows are quite dangerous, being so big compared to puny humans?

When I was a teenager, I remember visiting my friend's farm. Her Dad, a tough no-nonsense Yorkshire farmer was nowhere to be seen - she told me he was really upset because when he went out to feed the cows, they stampeded in the rush to get to the trough*, and a calf was crushed to death. So, being a Yorkshireman, he had to hide away so no-one would see he was tearful, bless him.

* details slightly hazy several decades later but that's roughly what happened - no doubt an actual farmer will turn up to tell me I haven't got it right!

ladymariner Thu 16-May-13 23:14:05

Cows can be dangerous, my dad was a farmer and we were always warned never to play in the cow field.

But the most evil creature we ever owned was a foul-tempered Suffolk ram.....he would butt you as soon as look at you, it used to take four grown men to drag him into the sheep dip. I used to perch up out of the way and laugh my socks off at the spectacle.....never went anywhere near him though. He was truly wicked!

Bowlersarm Fri 17-May-13 10:19:43

ladymariner do you know if cows would have to have a reason to attack ie if they felt threatened? Or would they just attack as a matter of routine despite having no reason to feel threatened?

Just wondering if crossing a cow field is ok if you leave enough space between you and them.

ladymariner Fri 17-May-13 22:34:55

If cows feel threatened they will attack, but the more likely scenario is that cows are naturally inquisitive, if they see something different they will often come over to investigate and that can cause alarm in whoever happens to be there which in turn can spook the cows causing them to trample.
We had a nervy experience whilst out hiking once when we crossed a field, we were with a party of Boys Brigaders, and there were young cattle in the field, including some young bullocks who, we think, were showing their strength and started to circle us and that was quite intimidating.
And never go into a field of cows if you have a dog with you.

To be fair though, I would still cross a field with cows in but I would just do as you say and keep a distance between me and them.

Backinthebox Fri 17-May-13 22:49:15

I have been brought up in a rural setting (spent weekends in my childhood on my dad's best friends farm, often working with cattle) and my FIL was a sheep farmer for decades. I also currently keep horses. I would not walk across a field full of half-tonne animals I do not know or understand. If you don't know whether your behaviour may disturb them - keep out. They are not only bigger than you, but they can run faster and there are more of them! It's not worth entering their territory to see if they are friendly or not. Especially not with a dog, who is a predator in their eyes.

I live in Cambridgeshire and there are cows on all the common land which have walking routes along them. I've grown up with them always being there but I find it quite strange that in the middle of a small city there are cows just roaming around.

ShadowStorm Sat 18-May-13 00:54:30

I avoid going through fields with cows in where possible, especially if they've got calves.

Once DH parked the car near some cows with calves - one of the cows wandered over to check out the car, walked around the car - and then started trying to butt the car out of the way because the car was now between her and her calf confused

Backinthebox Sat 18-May-13 09:53:03

They are not bright animals.

MrsTwgtwf Sat 18-May-13 10:01:20

Backinthebox, I dunno what you think, but I reckon any herd of prey animals would gang up to attack a predator, eg a wolf-like canine. I've seen groups of horses look very very menacing. They would have to protect themselves, and more especially any young, against wolves; they would need to warn off any wolf pack by killing the first one to approach.

needtogetoffsofa Sat 18-May-13 19:41:54

I have had this discussion with my family today. We are regular walkers and always stick to designated routes with public footpaths, but most occassions we have to cross a field of cows or horses. We are very careful to keep to the edge of the field and we do not have a dog but it is still very intimidating. It is not always an option to choose another route when you do not know the area and are following a map. To go back is not always an option as we may have walked five or six miles and only have a couple of miles left of the route. Why are farmers not obliged to put a fence between their animals and a public right of way?

Backinthebox Sun 19-May-13 00:06:11

It is the farmers' land. They are obliged to keep the right of way open, but not obliged to keep it separated from the land they farm. It would divide the countryside up further and cost a huge amount - who would bear the cost of that? If a farmer chooses to put livestock in his field, it is up to the public to decide whether they wish to exercise their right to walk across that field. No one is making anyone walk across it! Most people using a public right of way are doing so for pleasure. The farmer is almost always using his field to make his living.

ladymariner Sun 19-May-13 00:33:23

Exactly backinthebox

needtogetoffsofa Sun 19-May-13 10:52:41

yes I fully understand no one is making people walk through a field but my view is that the countryside is for all to enjoy. Where else would people go to exercise and enjoy the countryside. In my experience the field boundaries we have to cross are not usually very vast. The one we encountered yesterday had only approx 6 metres of field exposed. If I was that farmer I would imagine I would rather fence it off than risk my animals being disturbed.

ithaka Sun 19-May-13 11:12:56

When I was a teenager, I kept my pony on a farm in field of cows and occasionally an enormous bull. I used to be terrified of catching my pony when the bull was in the field, he was so huge and intimidating.

I spoke to the farmer about it and he reassured me the bull was perfectly safe - it was the cows I had to watch out for. He told me they were especially dangerous when they had calves and they really did not like dogs.

I have never forgotten that - it added an unwelcome extra element of fear to my pony catching. I learned how to vault on bareback, so at least when she was caught I felt safe as I knew we could outrun them. However, they never did anything.

My mum has always been scared of cows - when I was younger some cows chased her in a field and the rest of us thought it was funny. blush Until the last couple of years I had no idea they could kill.

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