AS SUMMER approaches walkers are being warned of the dangers of walking in fields full of cows.
East Sussex County Council is warning people that the normally docile animals can become aggressive towards walkers, especially when calves are present.
There have been more than 100 incidents in the last decade of people in England being attacked and injured by cattle, with a number of these resulting in fatalities.
Off duty midwife, Emma Smith was horrifically injured by a herd of cattle last year, when they repeatedly charged or sat on her crumpled body, while she was trying to walk her dog on a public footpath, through a field of cows with their calves, in Cornwall.
“Thankfully, serious incidents involving walkers and cattle are rare, but we would recommend that people take every precaution when enjoying the East Sussex countryside,” said Cllr Carl Maynard, lead member for Transport and Environment.
“Keeping your dog on a lead, finding alternative routes when faced with a field of cattle and ensuring you carry a mobile phone to call for help if necessary are all steps that can help keep you safe while out walking.”
The National Farmers’ Union and The Ramblers say cows can feel threatened by dogs and are, therefore, more likely to attack.
Tom Ormesher, of the NFU, said: “Farmers understand their duty of care and that the best way to prevent accidents is to identify and minimise risk. They are also encouraged to display signs explaining to walkers how to avoid cattle-related incidents and especially how to manage dogs in the presence of livestock.”