Page last updated at 19:29 GMT, Monday, 24 August 2009 20:29 UK

Cattle chargers: Your stories


Walkers have been warned of the dangers posed by cows with calves.

Three people have died in as many months and others have been injured.

BBC News website readers have been recounting their experiences of the time they were confronted by angry cattle.


Back in November 2003, my husband was walking our dog through a field with a public footpath.

My husband had an operation to put two metal rods in his back
Fiona Lee

All of a sudden a herd of Charolais cattle (bullocks) appeared and before my husband could react, both he and the dog were butted and tossed in the air.

The dog returned home leaving my husband to crawl under a hedge. He managed to walk home but he was in a lot of pain.

We went to our GP and to a hospital. But he didn't get an x-ray and was just sent home with pain killers.

But in the weeks after the incident, he was still in terrible pain. It was only when we went to get his back checked again that we discovered he had broken his back.

He had an operation in his lumber region in the following May to put two metal rods in his back.

Fortunately, apart from difficulty doing some tasks such as cutting the hedge he has fully recovered.

But he no longer goes into that field; he just walks around the field.

The problem is that where there is a public footpath, I'm not sure what can be done as animals have to be able to graze somewhere.


Adrian Dunn

A few years ago, I worked on a dairy farm in Crewe and one day some farm workers and I attempted to free a cow that was stuck in a ditch.

When we arrived, she looked pretty angry. We used hipsters and a fork-lift truck to hoist the cow out.

But when it was freed it put its head down and went straight for me. The cow was so quick I didn't have time to get out of the way. It butted my stomach very hard.

I went back to the farm yard and rested for a while and had something to eat. But when I went to the loo, I noticed I was passing blood.

I went to the hospital and had to carefully explain what happened to me because staff couldn't believe that I was butted by a cow. They thought I was hit by a car!

When I was examined I was told that I had a split haematoma in my kidney.

The doctor said I needed complete rest. No pressure could be put on my kidney at all. I stayed in hospital for five days and after that I had two weeks off from work.

After that I was sent to a specialist hospital in Manchester to see if I was doing ok.

Despite my experience I did carry on working on the farm when I got better. But farming involves long hours and I later found an alternative career in youth work.


Three years ago, my partner and I were on holiday in the Yorkshire Dales. It was the last day of our holiday and he went out to walk our two spaniels on a public footpath.

My partner was badly bruised and his leg went black because of nerve damage
Julie Willetts

He did not see the cows until it was too late. He was knocked down to the ground three times and was trampled. The dogs hid in a corner of the field.

He was able to get to the next hamlet on his own but with some difficulty.

I was later contacted and I took my partner to see a doctor. My partner had cuts to his head and arms and he was badly bruised and his leg went black because of nerve damage.

Since then, we have returned to the area but when we walk the dogs, we avoid going through cow fields and we always make sure there is an easy exit.

I do think that where a public footpath runs through fields, there should be a notice to say cows and calves are present. When there are several fields, cattle can't often be seen until it is too late.

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