Shropshire cow injury victims in warning to walkers

Badly injured victims of cow attacks are urging countryside walkers to give cattle kept in fields with calves a wide berth.

A number of people have been injured by cattle in Shropshire and Mid Wales in recent years.

Now some of the victims of cow attacks have spoken of their ordeal.

NFU spokesman Oliver Cartwright said: “Billions of tourists visit the countryside each year and walkers make up 18 per cent of all visitors to rural areas. Fortunately incidents involving members of the public and cattle are extremely rare. Unfortunate accidents sometimes happen and our thoughts are always with those involved.

“The countryside is a beautiful place to walk in, however, it is a working environment where animals graze so it’s important that people are mindful of this and follow advice in the Countryside Code, available at naturalengland.org.uk"

In 2015, June Breese, who lives in Shropshire, was on holiday in Swansea when a cow ran at her and threw her up in the air twice before dropping her on the ground. She was airlifted to hospital after crawling under a fence to get away from the animal and suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung.

Jacqui Beale, 48, suffered broken ribs, a punctured lung and was left needing stitches to her face after she was bumped by a herd while walking her dog in May this year as she came across them with their young.

The dog groomer managed to get herself to safety, but is warning others who to have their wits about them.

"The dog was on a lead, but they weren't going for the dog, they came for me and knocked me over. I was bashed about by about eight cows. I remember being tossed from one to another and thinking I wasn't going to survive. All I could hear was snorting and breathing, it was terrifying.

"If I had had a child with me or had been an old person who couldn't get out of the field, it would have been even worse. You wouldn't expect it, but cows move really fast. This has left me really scared. I respect animals and have always kept my dog on a lead, but that wasn't enough. I live in the countryside surrounded by lovely fields, but I'm too scared to go near them now," Ms Beale, of Wirksworth, Derbyshire.

Grandfather Mike Pace, 55, was trampled by cows in August last year while walking along a public footpath with his wife Gill, in Abersoch, in Gwynedd, Wales.

Mrs Pace escaped unharmed, but the BMW manager still needs crutches to walk. He and Ms Beale are both taking legal action.

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