On the 11th August this year, I was walking with my dog on a public right of way, near Shipton under Wychwood, Oxfordshire.
I noticed the cows in the distance, and so I called my dog to my side, put her on a short lead and made her walk to heel. She is a Labrador and is used to being walked around livestock.
The cows had been standing around the path, but they dispersed when we entered the field. As we made our way through the field, they began to walk towards us and actually got close enough to sniff my dog’s bottom. My dog cowered but did not react. As the cows started to sniff my dog, one of them head butted me and knocked me to the ground. I let go of the dog’s lead and she ran off.
Down on the floor, I was repeatedly kicked and head butted. This lasted for around a minute before I managed to scramble up. But then the cows knocked me down again, and began trampling on my head and my shoulder.
I screamed for help. Two men heard me and came running to my rescue, and they scared the cows off.
After being rushed to A&E, I spent nine hours in the hospital where I was checked for internal bleeding, crush wounds and broken bones. My shoulder was severely bruised with ligament damage, I had a large, deep graze to my rear shoulder blade, and substantial bruising to every limb. My right ear had a deep cut, and needed to be glued back together.
My dog was missing for four hours, but luckily escaped unhurt.
I reported the incident to the farmer. I would like the cows moved to a field which doesn’t contain a public footpath. I am a fit and healthy 27 year old female but, had I been elderly or infirm, I strongly believe this incident could have resulted in a far more tragic outcome.
Photo by Alexander Shustov