Police issue warning after near-miss between charging cattle and dog walker near Barnard Castle

DOG walkers are being warned to keep pets on a lead when walking through fields after a near miss between charging cattle and a member of the public.

Police in Barnard Castle issued a warning for vigilance and caution following an incident in the area where cows, who were with their calves, charged at a dog walker as they passed through a field.

Sergeant Simon Rogers, from the Barnard Castle Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We have had a recent instance where people out walking with their dogs have been charged at by the cows.

“We have had similar incidents reported to us in previous years.

“When the calves are born, the cows become very protective, which means that there is an element of danger if people enter a field with them, particularly if they also have dogs with them which tend to make the cows even more nervous.

“We would ask people to be vigilant, and to take precautions when they are enjoying the countryside.

“If you do enter a field with cows and calves during your walk, we would suggest that you keep dogs on leads and close-by.”

In June 2012, a male tourist was seriously injured after being trampled by cows while walking on a public footpath through a field at Romaldkirk, near Barnard Castle.

He spent several days in intensive care, at the James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, being treated for head, back, arm, chest and abdominal injuries. His wife escaped unhurt.

A paramedic who attended the scene described the man, from West Yorkshire, as “lucky to be alive”.

Following the incident, the National Farmers' Union advised walkers to always keep dogs on leads, carry a stick with them to help deter curious creatures, and give grazing animals wide berth, particularly those with calves, even if that meant deviating from the footpath.

In previous similar incidents, two women were seriously injured by a herd of cows near Leyburn, North Yorkshire in 2010.

One woman sustained a broken arm and fractured skull, while the other suffered broken ribs after being trampled in the same field in separate incidents on the same day.

Comments (2)

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9:37am Thu 22 May 14

Copley23 says...

....but it fails to add, IF your dog is on a lead and the cows make a move towards you, let your dog OFF it's lead! The dog will find it's own way out. And of course it adds to the distraction so you can make a bolt for it.
....but it fails to add, IF your dog is on a lead and the cows make a move towards you, let your dog OFF it's lead! The dog will find it's own way out. And of course it adds to the distraction so you can make a bolt for it. Copley23
  • Score: 5

1:50pm Thu 22 May 14

OldBiddyFrom Barney says...

Walkers are very welcome in Teesdale but if they are not used to livestock particularly cows with their calves they need to educate themselves a little and listen to and heed warnings. If you insist on walking through a 'occupied' field you do it quietly, at a steady pace and you keep your dog on a short lead. If you are in a large group you should separate out and leave a space of 20 yards between you this is so the cows don't see a 'rival herd'.

Personally I would send any children and older/disabled people safely over first then follow up the rear with the dog as it is the dog the cow would really 'go for' if it felt threatened.

If a farmer asks you to turn back as there is a problem going past a particular set of cattle on a given day don't be a prat and give him chapter and verse about your rights just listen to sound advice.
Walkers are very welcome in Teesdale but if they are not used to livestock particularly cows with their calves they need to educate themselves a little and listen to and heed warnings. If you insist on walking through a 'occupied' field you do it quietly, at a steady pace and you keep your dog on a short lead. If you are in a large group you should separate out and leave a space of 20 yards between you this is so the cows don't see a 'rival herd'. Personally I would send any children and older/disabled people safely over first then follow up the rear with the dog as it is the dog the cow would really 'go for' if it felt threatened. If a farmer asks you to turn back as there is a problem going past a particular set of cattle on a given day don't be a prat and give him chapter and verse about your rights just listen to sound advice. OldBiddyFrom Barney
  • Score: 4

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