Dogs a factor in majority of cattle attacks
Published 09/02/2016 | 02:30
The presence of dogs is a factor in two thirds of attacks by cattle on humans.
Researchers in the UK carried out a review to identify risk factors into incidents involving cattle and members of the public.
Out of 54 attacks on people reported in Britain between 1992 and 2013, two-thirds involved dogs and one in four proved fatal.
There is a stronger tradition of people walking in the countryside with dogs in the UK, where there are public access rights to certain lands and bridleways.
"We found that walking with dogs among cows, particularly with calves present, was a common factor for an attack," said Dr Carri Westgarth, a dog behaviour expert at the University of Liverpool.
"One theory for this is that cows may feel particularly threatened by dogs, especially if they have young to protect. People then try to protect their dogs, which can lead to a tragic incident occurring."
It highlighted that injuries from cattle were often under-reported.
John McNamara, Teagasc health and safety officer, said farmers and people in the countryside must keep their dogs under control.