Every year there are horrendous reports of tragic cases where people out walking have been attacked, and on occasion trampled to death, by cows.
The majority of people know that bulls are dangerous creatures, but a lot of people are unaware of just how hazardous cows, especially those protecting their young, can be if they see you near. These incidents are relatively rare, with Health and Safety Executive figures showing that 8 people have been killed, and 481 people have received an injury from a cow in the past eight years.
A lot of the time reports have told of dogs being the main reason that cows can become aggressive. They fear the dog is trying to attack their young and so run at them to try and ward them off. This of course is not a safe situation if you are at the other end of the lead your dog is attached to.
When going walking, taking your dog with you, if you have one, is almost a no brainer. It’s a great way to exercise them and it’s a fantastic way for you both to roam around the countryside. The complicated bit comes in that, by law, farmers are permitted to destroy any animal that injures, or even just worries, their animals. It is therefore completely the owner’s responsibility to keep their dogs under control and on a lead when there are farm animals around.
There is a time, however, when keeping hold of your dog lead could end up being the worst advice to follow. The following tips should help to keep you safe in the unfortunate circumstance that you end up in a field of uncomfortable looking cows:
If you do find yourself in a situation where you are standing with a field of cows staring you down, then stay calm. Move away carefully and quietly and don’t make any sudden movements.
If you are trying to move away and the cows start walking towards you in a threatening manner then your best move is to let go of your dog’s lead. The likelihood is that they are unhappy with your dog’s presence more than yours, and your dog can run away a lot faster than you.
If you can see a field of cows ahead of you, especially if you have spotted they have young calves with them, then don’t even risk it. If there is another route you can take, then don’t think twice.
If you are looking for more walking and hiking survival tips then check out the rest of our guide…