Dog walkers face increasing menace from large cows


Wait till he tries for the gate and cut him off!

Dog walkers who take their pets on countryside strolls have been warned that they face a growing menace from temperamental continental cows.

Hard-pressed farmers have been gradually replacing more docile native breeds in favour of the larger and more profitable – but potentially more aggressive – Limousin and Charolais.

Over the past two decades, with supermarket customers demanding ever cheaper meat, the rather more docile Hereford, Aberdeen Angus and British Friesian have started to be phased out. It means that, while walkers out with their dogs would be wise to be wary of any breed, the character of the animals they are likely to come across in farmers’ fields may be very different from what they had experienced in the past.

Bryan Jones, a former vice president of the Farmers’ Union of Wales, said the Limousin and Charolais tended to be “more temperamental, more highly strung”…

His warning came after retired school secretary Marilyn Duffy, 61, was trampled to death by a herd of cows as she walked through a field just yards from her home in Radyr, near Cardiff.

The animals involved were believed to be Friesians and Mr Jones said that in general all breeds of cattle “don’t like dogs”.

Dog owners whose pets are attacked by cows are advised to let the dog go as when let off the leash it should be able to outrun its pursuer.

Consideration of this problem is nothing new for folks like me who lives places where the law defining fences – for example – is that you are fencing something out not something in. That’s because until recently the county where I live in New Mexico was classified as open range. You don’t want cows in your front garden? It’s your responsibility to keep them out.

As for breeds like Limousin? Coming upon just a few of these critters while out on a stroll – with or without Fido – is like casually waltzing back into the days when wooly rhinos dotted the mesa tops. They are huge! I would be afraid of one stepping on me just by accident.

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