Prosecutions

Farmer guilty after walker trampled by cow

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A farmer has been ordered to pay £3,555 after a dog walker was thrown eight feet into the air and trampled by a cow.


Steve Adams was on holiday in July 2021 with his wife Jane near Sidbury, East Devon when they went for a walk with their Springer Spaniel, which was on a lead.

They were walking on a public footpath through a field containing cows with calves when one of the cows attacked, leaving Steve badly injured. He spent seven days in intensive care, suffering damage to his lungs and spleen. He had several broken ribs.

Investigating HSE inspector Simon Jones said: “Cattle are extremely protective of their calves.”

“Farmers should not place cattle with calves in fields where members of the public have a legal right to walk unless appropriate measures are in place such as robust fencing separating cattle from people. Had Barry Fowler done this then the incident could not have happened.”

“Cattle are extremely protective of their calves.” Photograph: iStock

Mr Fowler, of Sidmouth, was found guilty of breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which requires employers and the self-employed to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, they do not put members of the public at risk by their work activities.

Steve, who is now 63, and is retired from the transport industry, recalled how he and his wife had found themselves surrounded by a herd of more than 20 cattle as they tried to make their way to a pedestrian gate.

A cow approached, tossing him in the air. “It was just the one cow, the biggest one. It came up and threw me into the air with its head and then it trod all over me.”

“My own grandfather was a farmer, so I’d been around cattle as a child, and I wasn’t scared of them. Now, I wouldn’t go into a field with cows, you don’t know what’s going to happen. People should be very wary of cows.”

 

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