Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Cow Violence

More Cow Violence - this time in the UK.

The Independent, By Michael McCarthy, August 24

Four people have been trampled to death by cows in just over eight weeks this summer, prompting British farmers and the Ramblers Association to warn yesterday of the potential dangers.

The spate of incidents is regarded as highly unusual; in the past eight years there have only been 18 deaths in total caused by cattle of all kinds – including incidents involving bulls, which have always been known to present risks.

Cows have been thought to be generally docile, and this remains true, the National Farmers' Union emphasised yesterday. However, the NFU pointed to the fact that at least two of the four deaths involved walkers with dogs, which may be a factor in turning cows from placid cud-chewing bystanders into potential killers.

"Cows can get aggressive in the presence of dogs, especially if they have their calves with them," Robert Sheasby, the NFU's rural surveyor, said yesterday. "They see the dog as a threat, and take exception to it. Cows are generally placid and docile, but when a mother animal feels the protection of her offspring is at risk, temperaments can change."


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