Page last updated at 16:56 GMT, Friday, 30 May 2008 17:56 UK

Itchy cow herd triggers power cut

Cattle ( generic)
The cows scratched themselves on power poles near Wrexham

Itchy cows plunged a village near Wrexham, north Wales into darkness after they damaged power lines by rubbing against pylons.

More than 130 homes in Gwynfryn had their power cut, some for more than 16 hours, as engineers worked on the damaged lines.

A ScottishPower spokeswoman apologised and added that cows needing a scratch had caused them problems before.

Protective fencing will be erected around the power pole, she added.

The ScottishPower spokeswoman said that it had many power poles up and down the country, particularly on farmland.

Overhead network

"Unfortunately we were rubbed up the wrong way by an itchy cow," she said, referring to the incident earlier this month.

"Although it is rare, it can happen - a fully grown cow can weigh anywhere between 1000 and 1500 lbs.

"If cattle constantly rub themselves on the same pole then it can dislodge the overhead network.

"In areas where we've had problems, we have put up fencing and other obstacles to stop cattle getting too close to the poles.

"Our engineers worked as quickly as they could to re-connect power to customers and we apologise for any inconvenience this caused."

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