Warning over walking dogs in fields with livestock

Cattle can be placid but cows protecting their young can be less tolerant.
Cattle can be placid but cows protecting their young can be less tolerant.

The dangers of walking with dogs in fields containing livestock have been stressed by the National Farmers Union of Scotland (NFUS)

This follows the death of Duns man Richard Nicholson this week after he was trampled by angry cows and calves while walking his dog on farmland at Marchmont House near Greenlaw on Sunday, August 25.

A local man, who did not want to be named, said: “It happened as the man walked down the avenue in front of Marchmont House with his dog amongst cows and calves. “The caretaker there saw he was in difficulty and managed to drive in with his Land Rover and get him into the vehicle and out of the field.

“The cows were adamant they were wanting him and the dog. The dog was running about trying to get away from the cows when the caretaker was getting the man into the Landrover.

“People don’t seem to realise the danger.

“Cows are big strong heavy animals and are very protective of their young, as any animal is. You want to avoid them at all costs.”

NFU Scotland’s regional manager Nina Clancy said: “This is a very unfortunate accident but, unfortunately, this is not the first incident of this kind.

“Cattle can be placid but cows protecting young calves are much less tolerant of anything in their field they might perceive as a threat.

“Dogs, no matter how well behaved, are a particular target in this respect.”

In April, Berwickshire farmer Kenny MacGregor of East Loanend, Horncliffe, near Berwick, was killed when a cow whose calf he was checking turned on him and just last week a man in his 60s, thought to have been walking his dog, was seriously injured after being trampled by cattle in Cambridgeshire.