Norfolk cows strike again

Thursday 20th April 2017.

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                                                                              PC: Olivia Frost

Norfolk is known by many as a place for farming. With this, comes the expectation that a lot of farm animals will be able to be spotted and encountered across the county. However, this picturesque image has started to be tainted since 2009. Cows in Norfolk have started to become dangerous. Yes, they are starting to become ‘killer cows’. This raises the question that if their reputation in Norfolk, and arguably across the UK, is starting to become increasingly negative, then why are the public still putting themselves in danger by walking amongst them on walks and nature treks? This is answered simply by cow attacks are as simple as that. They are attacks. They are unexpected, and unfortunately, sometimes they cannot be avoided.

This month has already seen two reported incidents in Norfolk. Yesterday, David Gammons, a resident of Aylmerton for over 20 years, was chased by a bullock, a young bull, whilst doing the walk he has been doing for years in Roman Camp, north Norfolk. The dog walker said: “I have walked across these fields for years and the cows have always been fine, even friendly. But the other day it was different. It was a completely new herd”. Roman Camp is a public footpath and can be found in nearly all ‘Norfolk walks’ books. This is the first cow related incident to be recorded on the grounds, but because of the heard being new, it creates the question that similar events might unfold soon.

Away from Roman Camp, the village of Hethel in south Norfolk, saw one of its female residents rushed to hospital after a new herd had been placed in the village. Earlier this week, the resident was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital following a head injury, after a Bullock knocked a gate over onto the woman. The woman was stood with her dog on the road while looking at the field of cows when the bullock backed up on to gate causing it to fall onto the woman and continued to run up the road into a neighbouring field.

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                                                                               PC: Olivia Frost

In 2015, it was reported that since 2000 there have been 74 reports of people being killed in the UK. Many of those killed by cows were farmers. In 2013, a farmer was sadly killed by one of his bulls, after being attacked while working on the farm. As the number of incidents has started to increase, so has the number of self-help guides on how to avoid, and handle, encounters with cows; especially during the summer months. However, as this month alone suggests, people are still being traumatised by cows, especially when mistaken for normal herds that are used to human traffic. Therefore, I suggest that farmers should start putting up signs on popular public footpaths if the cow herd has been changed. This would hopefully remind those who have gotten accustomed to old herds, to be aware and cautious with the new residents a-come-upon during their regular walks.

Olivia Frost