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.

CarpeVinum Sun 19-May-13 12:28:04

There doesn't have to be a dog there.

Way back when my whole family, three kids, parents and gparents had to leg it and climp up a handy tree when a herd of cows just turned and chased us. I'm pretty sure there weren't any babies with them, but it was a long long time ago.

Until then I didn't even know that cows could run.

Let alone that bloody fast.

I've never really liked them since.

Yes, we had no dog when the cows chased my mum. There were other walkers though, can't remember whether they had a dog.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Sun 19-May-13 13:56:32

We were walking along a river recently with cows sitting chilled out near our exit gate. No problem, I'm fairly happy to walk past as long as they appear relaxed. Just as we were getting closer to them a stupid woman walking from the other direction let go of her dog who ran through the fence amongst the cows!

The cows got up and started looking menacing and stressed! We had to walk past them to get to the gate, the woman who caused the problem was safely the other side of the fenceangry

We were fine, but I wasn't very happy at all, really felt her stupidity compromised the safety of my dses and me!

I run and cycle off road so I've had a few encounters but mostly I find cows fairly ok. I don't have a dog, and if I did I would be much more wary.

Northumberland cows are more scary too. I got chased along the road I was running on by cows. Okay, they were in their field next to the road so they couldn't get to me but they chased me all along the fieldshock

I've never been chased by South Downs cows!

Backinthebox Sun 19-May-13 17:47:04

Needtogetoffsofa I think you completely misunderstand the countryside.

needtogetoffsofa Sun 19-May-13 19:40:11

in what way backinthebox?!

needtogetoffsofa Sun 19-May-13 19:41:53

sorry reading my previous post I meant to say the farmers animals not my

Backinthebox Sun 19-May-13 20:27:50

"my view is that the countryside is for all to enjoy" and "In my experience the field boundaries we have to cross are not usually very vast" are the main sentences that suggest to me that you don't fully understand it.

The countryside is property that belongs to people, just as cities are made up of property that belongs to people. People go to the city to enjoy it, but that does not give them a right to dictate how those who live and make their living there behave. You are suggesting that all of the 1000s of miles of public rights of way across the British countryside should have conditions attached to them, but I can't see that happening. Rights of way are generally designated as a Public Footpath, Bridleway or Byway (green lane) based on historical use. But much of the countryside is farmed in the same way as it has been for centuries too. Why should a farmer whose family has kept cows or sheep on a field for generations suddenly have to put up fences because people who want to exercise their right to walk across a field whenever they want.

Historically these rights of way would have been used by local people walking to and from their place of work, or a relative's house, or to the next village. They would have understood the behaviour of animals, having grown up around them, and know whether it is a sensible thing to cross their path or whether to make a detour, rather than just thinking "It's a Public Footpath - I have complete right of way!"

Yes, you may enjoy the countryside, and many do. But you must remember that the countryside for the most part has evolved as landscape shaped by those who own and take care of it, whether that be crops, fields of livestock, forests, riverbanks, etc. It gets right on the nerves of many people who live and work there that some people think expect to treat it like a giant theme park.

Field size and public footpath length have absolutely no relationship with each other at all.

needtogetoffsofa Sun 19-May-13 21:02:45

None of my family have any intention of treating the countryside as a giant theme park FYI !! But I do reserve the right to walk where there is a public right of way. That is I am the public and I have a right of way. In my opinion some land owners make it very difficult for walkers, putting barbed wire fences where there is a public footpath. What are walkers supposed to do when following a sign posted walkway and it leads them through a field of cows? Walk the seven miles back the way they came?

I did not say there was any correlation with field size and length of public footpath just that often with a little effort everyone could be safe. It may get on your nerves to have people walking in YOUR countryside but with a little co-operation everyone would be safe. It gets on MY nerves when people think they have more rights than others. I realise that not everyone respects the landscape but please do not tar everyone with the same brush. We just like to enjoy our well earned leisure tie safely - my family all work in professions which serve the public

Salbertina Sun 19-May-13 21:08:13

Cows ARE v fast! beat my PB any day!

edam Sun 19-May-13 21:08:28

needtogetoff, who is going to pay for all the fencing you want to be installed? And why should farmers lose the use of thousands of square feet of their own land?

Of course anyone who blocks rights of way is wrong, but your idea that farmers should be expected to put up fences is quite unworkable.

needtogetoffsofa Sun 19-May-13 21:18:36

I am just interested to know how you suggest we protect public safety? Isn't it blocking a right of way by having a herd of cows loose and then saying people should have known better than to follow a public footpath through them?

I have a healthy respect for all animals and am not ignorant of the dangers as GPIL owned a dairy farm for many years but I would never have gone into the cattle without guidance.

VBisme Sun 19-May-13 21:29:13

Attacks by cows happen surprisingly regularly. I'd never let my dog off the lead near any farm animals anyway, but you so need to be careful.

Backinthebox Sun 19-May-13 22:38:47

Walk where you want. Maybe the cows are there to weed out the idiots!

ShadowStorm Sun 19-May-13 23:04:45

It'd cost farmers a fair bit to fence off all public rights of ways on their fields, and farmers do have every right to let their cattle graze on their land.

I don't like walking through fields with cows in as I find it nervewracking but I think it's unreasonable to expect farmers to put in fenced paths for my convenience.

BinarySolo Mon 20-May-13 08:42:31

I've experienced cows trying to chase off my dogs several times. I will always try to avoid fields with cows in. They do not alway need calves with them to be aggressive. Personally I think that where possible, cows with calves should be kept away from busy footpaths.

Breed of cow make a huge difference too. Longhorns look fearsome but are pretty docile. The cows a pp mentioned on Rodborough common are a more docile breed. I love that place and got married there. The cows roam about on the common which also doubles as a golf course and it used by dog walkers!

There's a farmer near me who hates dogs. I'm sure he uses bullocks as deterrent to all walkers. He's an exception tho, as I've found most other farmers to be pretty reasonable.

adeucalione Mon 20-May-13 11:14:24

The farmers I know all hate dog walkers and intentionally put livestock on public footpaths to discourage them - I can think of cows, horses and geese being used in this way.

One farmer also told me that the breed of cow is very important - he said that dairy cows can be aggressive and shouldn't be on a public footpath, but that beef breeds are usually docile. Not sure if that's true, or how you tell the difference though!

vesela Tue 21-May-13 09:18:28

I grew up in the countryside surrounded by cows, and I was scared of them. When I think about it, it was the cows that kept me largely confined to the garden/very quiet road - there were some fantastic places to play, but the footpaths to get there involved going through fields with cows. And yet I always thought, or was given to believe, that - despite a few close shaves - it was me who was over-reacting. Living in a rural area with a lot of farming families, we were often given farm safety tests - but they never mentioned how to behave around cows. They should have.

vesela Tue 21-May-13 09:24:47

I think what sometimes happened was the scenario ladymariner describes - cows start walking towards you inquisitively, you leg it, they start running as well. We were never taught that cows were inquisitive animals, though.

needtogetoffsofa Tue 21-May-13 20:06:01

no need to be rude backinthebox! Everyone is entitled to live their lives as they see fit as long as they are respectful of others. Shame the same can't be said about you.

I wouldn't say farmers hate dog walkers adeucalione

Famers don't like people who

-drop litter

-leave their dogs crap all over their grazing fields scoop, spreading Neospora and Sarcocystosis

-let their dogs chase livestock usually with devastating consequences

-Steal trees, walling stones, large amounts of firewood, holly at Christmas, apples and occasionally (and thankfully very rarely) baby lambs. yes it may be a public right of way but these things are owned by the farmer just as much as your BBQ or bike in the back garden is owned by you.

-light fires, portable bbqs, camp without permission (if you asked we would generally say yes!)

-razz everywhere on off road bikes

- break into fields close to the footpath to play in streams/ woodland etc because it looks like fun. Yes it might be, but theres also an endangered species of primrose/ crayfish in there that you just trampled on. We get paid to protect them, thats why it is fenced off.

We have vast expanses of land that are not fenced at all, one day our cows may be a mile away from the footpath, the next they might have decided to lie right on top of it.

Nearly all of our land has public access right across it, often right through the middle of a field. We haven't chosen where the footpaths are, we also wouldn't expect someone to stick rigidly to them if they want to avoid our cows if they happen to be in the area.

Please bear in mind that if the fields weren't being farmed they would just be turned into housing/ factories/ waste land. The countryside only looks pretty because farmers keep it that way - you wouldn't have nice places to walk your dogs if that wasn't the case.

boxershorts Thu 23-May-13 13:34:31

Bulls kill more than cows. Cows in a herd will panic if frightened...relative once had a sow pig which would attack when with her litter. Swans can be a bit scary on land. And cockerels will chase you.

BlueberryHill Thu 23-May-13 13:52:19

Swans can be really scary in a boat, attacked by one last week, just got out of the way. I didn't think it would be able to reach me in the boat.

I've also been chased by a herd of cows whilst on a horse, it was a public bridleway. Very hairy especially as the horse was razzled and started to head towards the 5 bar gate with the intention of jumping it.

I don't think that farmers need to fence off footpaths, if people are going to walk in the countryside they need to be prepared, know the dangers, have proper kit etc. However, I don't think that farmers should put known dangerous animals in a field with a footpath, I'm thinking of the rams and sows mentioned above rather than a herd that hasn't been known to attack someone.

ladymariner Thu 23-May-13 21:56:08

And geese.......wow, our geese were vicious too, you didn't need a guard dog if the geese were on the loose! ( goes off to ponder the fact that due to all the 'wildlife' on Dad's farm it's a wonder we're still here to tell the talegrin )

bkgirl Thu 23-May-13 22:34:28

Our ponies shared their field with cows for years and on different occasions I had to leg it and either, jump the fence (with boots on) to a near olympian standard (adrenalin!!!!!) or jump on a pony. They would run past the pony...thank god. Nope, I still have a fear/respect for cows but the odd one was lovely and kind, one we named Daisy would let you sit on it's back. Since then I don't eat beef. They are sweet animals when you are outside their field, very curious and playful. Anyone who walks unguarded or with dogs in an area with free roaming cows is a complete nutter!!!!!!

bkgirl Thu 23-May-13 22:37:10

I agree, swans and geese are both vicious. I was riding on my bike by the river in Bedford many moons ago and a swan clean knocked me off the bike then kept pecking. Very sore indeed. I am frightened of the too smile

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