Cows – The Unlikely Suspect in Personal Injury Claims


Far from being grass grazing milk producers, cows are on the rampage again, injuring and even killing farm workers and members of the public who stumble into their paths.

Attacked by a Cow

The Dangers of Farm Cattle

It could be assumed that working on a farm has many hazards. Surrounded by dangerous machinery in remote places, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine the dangers there. However, most people would not assume that that danger would come from the farm animals. Cows, in particular, have a well-documented history of causing harm and even killing farm workers, dog walkers and ramblers alike. Reports suggest that 12 members of the public have been killed in the last 6 years.

From the information available the attacks seem to be seasonal. Cows are more vulnerable in the spring and early summer as this is usually when calves are around however, this does not mean they cannot be spooked at any other time.

One common trigger of cow attacks seems to be dogs, whether on or off the lead. Many of those who were attacked by cowherds have held onto their dog leads but, this is not always the best solution. The dog will always be able to outrun the herds and by holding on you are putting yourself and your dog at risk.

Are Some More Aggressive Than Others?

Cow attacks have even been blamed on the breed of cows we now have in the UK. Farmers have been accused of introducing more aggressive breeds to improve their stock at the expense of putting the public at risk. Beef cows are said to be more aggressive because they have less interactions with humans, unlike milk cows.

No matter the breed or the situation, cow attacks are no laughing matter. Being injured by a cow can result in punctured lungs, broken ribs and severe bruising from being trampled on. Often the injuries sustained are so dangerous they lead to death.

In these cases, the farmer who owns the cattle should have insurance to cover any such costs if you were to bring legal action for compensation for these injuries. There are instances when the farmer will be liable for the actions of their cattle and the injuries caused. The Animals Act 1971 looks at liability in these circumstances and the farmer also has a responsibility for straying livestock. As an employer they have a duty to protect their staff from injury during the course of their employment should the cow strike whilst you are at work.

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