Mama Cows are Every Bit as Protective as Bears, One Trampled Man Found Out

Mama Cows are Every Bit as Protective as Bears, One Trampled Man Found Out


An angry cow in Britain went berserk and attacked a vacationer in Devon using a legal public right of way. Say what? Cows are generally known to be fairly docile but you never know what's going to set them off. One 63-year-old grandad found that out the hard way after being tossed 8 feet into the air before being viciously trampled.

Steve Adams desperately tried to crawl away during the attack but ended up spending a week in intensive care after the belligerent bovine broke six of his ribs and damaged his lungs and spleen!

Haling from Coleshill, Adams was on holiday with his wife and dog walking back from a local pub when the harrowing ordeal occurred. He now says he's terrified of walking in fields with cows wandering loose, stating, "My 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."

As it turns out, the farmer who owned the herd of more than 20 cattle was prosecuted for allowing cows with calves in a field with public access. Like most maternal mammals, the court hearing the case was informed that cows could become aggressive if they perceived a threat to their offspring.

During the encounter, the couple was surrounded by cattle, some with their calves. A lone cow approached Adams, lowered its head, and then tossed him into the air before it commenced to trampling him.

Adams clarified, "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. I was trying to crawl out of the way, but it just kept landing its hooves on me. The dog was on its lead, and Id managed to let it go and it made it away.

"My wife had one of those plastic ball throwers for the dog and she was hitting the cow with it but it made no difference at all. I managed to roll away from under it. I wasn't feeling too good at all. I couldn't breathe. It had taken us about 15 minutes to walk to where it happened, but it took us about two and half hours to make it back to the van.

"An ambulance was called to the site, and they said straight away that I'd broken my ribs. It was a pretty scary day. I don't walk too much now. I'm not as healthy as I was, and I can still feel my injuries now."

According to a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation, cows are known to be protective, unpredictable, and can pose a risk to walkers - especially those with dogs. "Farmers should not put cattle with young calves in fields with a public right of way," the HSE notes.

Farmer Barry Fowler admitted breaching Section 3(2) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was fined £555 and ordered to pay £3,000 costs at Exeter Magistrates' Court on March 8.

HSE inspector Simon Jones said, "The serious injuries to Mr. Adams sustained when he has attacked and trampled by cattle with their calves was totally preventable. Cattle are extremely protective of their calves and even calm cattle can become aggressive if they think the calves may, in any way, be threatened, even by members of the public walking past.

"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 Fowler done this then the incident could not have happened."

Live and learn.

Rebecca West

Rebecca is a writer and editor for both print and digital with a love for travel, history, archaeology, trivia, and architecture. Much of her writing has focused on human and animal health and welfare. A life-long pet owner, she has taken part in fostering dogs for military members during deployment and given many rescued and surrendered dogs the forever home they always wanted. Her two favorite canine quotes are, "Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are," and "My dog rescued me."

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