Recently there have been some dreadful reports in the news about dog walkers being attacked by cows.
One incident was of a vet walking her dog, and was trampled to death by a herd of cows.
The key thing to look for is : Are there CALVES in the field? If so, do NOT walk your dog through the field.
Personally, I avoid any fields that have cows. I NEVER go in with my dogs if there are calves present.
It is possible that the cows are out of sight, so I always look for signs like cowpats and hoof prints, or ask anybody that I see.
A cow can weigh upto 1 ton - that's a big animal, and so can inflict a lot of damage.
Farming Today, early morning on Radio 4, have recently discussed the problem, and have given some excellent advice.
KEEP YOUR DOG ON A LEAD AT ALL TIMES - do not let dogs run loose where there are cows present.
If you are approached by cows:
- STAY CALM
- DO NOT SHOUT OR SCREAM - this will make things a lot worse
- DO NOT RUN - THIS COULD TRIGGER AN ATTACK
- WALK AWAY CALMLY & QUIETLY TO AN EXIT OR TO THE EDGE OF THE FIELD
Once they have smelt you and your dog they will realise that you are strangers and so a potential threat to their calves. Stay quiet and calm.
What if you are surrounded by cows or hemmed in at a field boundary?
STAND STILL and let them sniff you. They will go away, but it can take time (up to 30 minutes!)
The key things are : Don't run, don't scream or shout. Keep calm. Keep your dog on a lead.
If there is bull in the field there is a legal requirement for a notice "BULL IN FIELD". Never go in!
Rams can also be a problem - avoid.