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Pensioner, 70, and his Border Collie named Lad are almost trampled to dying by cows in horror ordeal – as native farmer is fined £2,000

Pensioner, 70, and his Border Collie named Lad are almost trampled to dying by cows in horror ordeal – as native farmer is fined £2,000


A farmer has been fined after a retiree and his canine have been almost trampled to dying by cows on a public footpath.

Retired chartered surveyor Patrick Atherton, 70, and his 13-year-old Border Collie ‘Lad’ have been knocked to the bottom by seven cows whereas strolling in June final yr.

They have been saved after the cows have been waved away by somebody, believed to be a farmer. Mr Atherton was left with cuts and bruises from what may have been a deadly assault.

His canine Lad suffered critical accidents after being repeatedly kicked and stamped on by the cows – which on common weigh almost 700kg.

Mr Atherton, initially from The Wirral, Merseyside, says that he thought he was going to die in the course of the assault at Birdcage Farm, in Ottery Saint Mary, Devon.

Patrick Atherton was out walking his Border Collie in June last year when they were both attacked and nearly trampled to death by seven cows from a nearby farm

Patrick Atherton was out strolling his Border Collie in June final yr once they have been each attacked and almost trampled to dying by seven cows from a close-by farm

He stated: ‘I have been a coach of Border Collies for a few years.

‘It was ironic that for the primary time I had saved Lad on his lead as I had observed two younger calves within the discipline and thought if he was strolling by my aspect they would not actually discover.

‘Sadly, one black cow did and it charged at us, knocking me down by the hedge that bordered the trail.

‘I attempted to face up and let Lad off his lead however they saved on knocking me over.

‘There was about seven cows concerned, nevertheless it was the very aggressive black cow that was making an attempt to kill my canine.

‘I believed we have been going to die. I had been powerless to do something,’

All through the traumatic ordeal, Mr Atherton additionally was compelled to take heed to Lad shrieking from ache as he was attacked by the animals.

Fortunately the collie survived his accidents – however needed to be medicated for the remainder of his life, and was by no means the identical.

Mr Atherton added: ‘We have been each surrounded by cattle. I may hear Lad shrieking in ache as he was repeatedly kicked and stamped on.

‘He was by no means the identical canine after what occurred and he sadly handed away in September this yr.

‘I simply need to make different folks conscious of the dangers when out having fun with in style footpaths equivalent to this one.’

An investigation by the Well being and Security Govt (HSE) following the incident discovered that cattle with younger calves have been being saved in a discipline with a public proper of manner throughout it.

Cattle with calves are recognized to be protecting and might be aggressive to walkers, particularly to these with canine.

Between 2018 and 2022, greater than 30 folks have been killed by cows in related incidents, whereas others have been left with life-changing accidents.

Because of these risks, farmers are inspired to cull any aggressive animals or keep away from placing them in fields with public entry.

Public entrances to fields containing probably harmful cattle ought to clearly state whether or not they comprise cows with calves or bulls within the discipline.

Farmer John Hallett, who owns Birdcage Farm, later plead responsible to breaching Part 3(2) of the Well being & Security at Work and many others Act 1974.

He was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay prices of £4,500 at Exeter Magistrates’ Courtroom.

Mr Atherton said that his pet, Lad was never 'the same dog' after the attack and died in September this year

Mr Atherton said that his pet, Lad was never 'the same dog' after the attack and died in September this year

Mr Atherton stated that his pet, Lad was by no means ‘the identical canine’ after the assault and died in September this yr

HSE inspector Simon Jones stated: ‘It’s lucky that the accidents sustained by Mr Atherton weren’t life threatening, nevertheless given the character of the assault the tip consequence may have been far worse.

‘Public data – and concern – is rising about how harmful cattle might be. On this event Mr Atherton took the fitting precautions and HSE has taken motion towards the farmer in query.

‘Cattle are extraordinarily protecting of their calves and even calm cattle can turn into aggressive in the event that they suppose the calves could, in any manner, be threatened, even by members of the general public strolling previous.

‘Farmers mustn’t place cattle with calves in fields the place members of the general public have a authorized proper to stroll.

‘Had John Hallett adopted this easy rule, then this incident may have been prevented.’



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Written by bourbiza mohamed

Bourbiza Mohamed is a freelance journalist and political science analyst holding a Master's degree in Political Science. Armed with a sharp pen and a discerning eye, Bourbiza Mohamed contributes to various renowned sites, delivering incisive insights on current political and social issues. His experience translates into thought-provoking articles that spur dialogue and reflection.

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