Abigail’s story: pushed from cow to cow

On the 23rd July 2019, I was walking with my dog on a public footpath along the western shore of Coniston, in the Lake District.  We encountered a group of cows on the footpath. They went for my dog, and then surrounded me, pushing me from cow to cow.

I fell to the ground and one (or possibly more) stood on my leg. Luckily both the dog and I managed to escape

I received immediate treatment from the doctor at the surgery in Coniston. He put the stitch in my leg, which had significant swelling and bruising. In addition I had lacerations to three fingers on my left hand and the doctor dressed my fingers and gave me a tetanus injection. Then I went on to A and E in Barrow-in-Furness where my injuries were further assessed and dealt with. I had to return four times to have the dressings changed.

I took my dog to the vet for a check up, and it was thought he may have hairline fracture. But he was seen again the next day and everything was fine.

There were no warning signs up about cattle in the field. I reported the attack to the farmer, the Health and Safety Executive, the local authority and the National Trust

As far as I know, nobody is investigating the incident. The National Trust were useless. I made a formal complaint and received a letter back basically fobbing me off with reasons why they can’t do anything about it. I wrote again asking for compensation, and last week I received an insurance form which I have filled in and sent on. We’ll see what happens with that.

I also contacted the Lake District National Park Authority, who seemingly could not care less. They didn’t even ask how I was, or say they were sorry to hear about the attack. Their best advice to walkers is to “follow field edges if worried so they can hop over the boundary.” Because it’s so easy to throw yourself over a fence with barbed wire!!

I think cattle and human beings should be separate. Public paths are for people to be on, not cows. Cows should be in fenced off fields. They are dangerous and unpredictable. At the very least there should be signs warning walkers of cattle present. But the ultimate outcome should be complete separation of cattle and people

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