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Geocacher injured by cows


The Patrician
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The Telegraph reports:

 

"Cows attack nurse on treasure hunt - Sarah Leonard was taking part in a treasure hunt using GPS technology when she was trampled by a herd of cows in Lincolnshire"

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/10466968/Cows-attack-nurse-on-treasure-hunt.html

http://tinyurl.com/n827jnz

 

If I had to guess I'd say she'd kept her dog on a lead - always let them off around cows!

 

Edit - sorry about the speling mistale in the titll - can it be changed?

Edited by The Patrician
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If I had to guess I'd say she'd kept her dog on a lead - always let them off around cows!

Best not to guess then. We don't know the exact circumstances but we must remember that Sarah was close to dying and spent a long time in Intensive Care followed by a 5hr operation.

I'm sure you will want to wish her a speedy recovery.

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I guess you're an urban cacher, lots of public rights of way go through fields ... :rolleyes:

 

She may simply have been on her way to a cache :)

 

So true - this from a cache series we visited recently

 

"You should be able to see the next stile to cross when you enter each field - just keep following your GPS's until you reach No.7 - there is Livestock grazing in these fields for most of the year so please be wary and keep your Geohounds on Leads."

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I've been caching with Sarah many times and she is aware of the risks of caching, dogs and cows. I've seen a lot of posts/comments on news sites and facebook groups about dogs and cows but every situation is different, without anybody being there we will never know until Sarah is well enough to tell.

 

It was a public right of way and the farmer was well within his rights to have livestock in the field. He could have been totally unaware of how the cows reacted to walkers going through it.

 

At least the CO archived the series as soon as he heard about the cow issues on the way to the bonus where it happened http://coord.info/GC3ERAH oh wait.

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I know the path in question very well, having been to the cache twice inside the last year.

 

It was a very unfortunate accident, and I don't blame either Sarah or the cache owner. I hope she makes a full recovery and is able to keep on caching. She's one of the most prolific and determined cachers around and always writes great log entries.

 

I know a bit about what happened but I'm not really the person to ask for details. The public footpath seems a very popular one, just outside a lovely village in rural Lincolnshire. Yes, she had her dog with her; but dog walkers are common along here and the farmer would have been aware of this.

 

The path is unprotected from cattle for a distance, but obviously it's common that a country walk will take you through herds of cattle. What is less common is that the cattle were known to be rather aggressive. I believe that the farmer was aware of this, having erected a warning sign (the sign is mentioned in some cache logs). Other cachers have been seriously bothered by the cattle, even with no dog involved.

 

Perhaps they are of an unusual breed; I'm not sure. The cache is accessed directly from the path and an experienced cacher would have not ventured more than a few feet from the designated line.

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Not so glad with the GAGB's corporate style response.

I can see nothing wrong with their responce, what more could be said?

Why try to turn this into a thread knocking the GAGB?

 

I think they meant the political style of response. Distant and non committal, aloof ... and good luck with your nomination ... Very best wishes to Sarah. Although you have no idea who we are we wish you well. We've been in a field following a trail and been accosted by bucking cows and a very aggressive horse which butt and kicked. Public access areas which contain cattle are required to have non aggressive breeds placed in them. Friesians are a nightmare in our experience. As for the advice to let your dog off - usually you are required to place them on leads as most farmers here state on each stile. The country code states they must be under control at all times and this is best done on a lead.

 

As someone else has stated each situation is different. Being loud and waving arms works sometimes but others this winds them up. Calm movement and a calm dog helps. Most dogs will run away up to a point. If they feel submitting will solve the issue they will roll over to show submission to a larger animal. This could be catastrophic. We stand between the animals and our dog. If they charge shouting usually work and making yourself look as big as you can. But keep it up they take a few seconds to register what's happening. As an emergency you can carry a folded bin liner. When you pull that out and flap it - most animals hate it and clear off. Though we flapped a brolly once to arrest a charge ... Seaglass pirate No.1 sailed over the stile just in time and I was close behind him. And we weren't cachers then. Terrifying. Although Sarah was geocaching this isn't the focus and shouldn't be. If it's a public footpath anyone can access it and the last person who is responsible for anything happening is the poor soul using the path. The farmer followed by the path warden are the first port of call for responsibility. Then actions of those using the path.

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As for the advice to let your dog off - usually you are required to place them on leads as most farmers here state on each stile. The country code states they must be under control at all times and this is best done on a lead.

No, the advice is always to let your dog go if the cattle are getting frisky and seriously threatening your safety. The dog can outmanoeuvre them, and while the cows are giving chase you can get away. It might not always be enough but it gives everyone the best chance.

 

Normally keep the dog on its lead through the countryside, but not if being attacked.

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Ah no I meant I would never flow that advice as I care about my dog a lot. And could never see let him fend for himself. What others do is of course their decision. The country code is the country code and what the farmer puts as a request or whatever when crossing his land is what you must do. What you decide to do is ... well whatever that is and the consequences that may or may not follow are down to you. Here they are pretty laid back about shooting dogs off the lead unless it's chasing sheep. Then it's quite ... Final.

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Ah no I meant I would never flow that advice as I care about my dog a lot. And could never see let him fend for himself. What others do is of course their decision. The country code is the country code and what the farmer puts as a request or whatever when crossing his land is what you must do. What you decide to do is ... well whatever that is and the consequences that may or may not follow are down to you. Here they are pretty laid back about shooting dogs off the lead unless it's chasing sheep. Then it's quite ... Final.

As long as you're not responsible for anyone else, then sacrificing yourself and your dog like that is up to you. Remember that the poor dog may still be attached to your body in these circumstances.

 

All I'm saying is that official advice is to release the dog as soon as the attack begins, and I see the sense in that. Dogs are unlikely to be hurt by cattle, even if they may be frightened, and they tend to be what the cattle want to chase. Country code, farmer's notices, and so on mean nothing in these situations.

 

Confusing people by making this less clear isn't helpful.

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The Ramblers Association used to have it on their web site but they've made changes and I can't find a link to it now. But there are plenty of places that quote the advice. Such as Naturenet. Note the second point.

 

The Ramblers' Association provides the following helpful advice to walkers. It is worth emphasising that the majority of attacks occur when dogs are present or cows are acting in defence of their calves:

•Be prepared for cattle to react, and, where possible, walk carefully and quietly around them - do not split up a clustered group.

 

•If you have a dog with you, keep it under close control, but do not hang on to it should a bull or cow start acting aggressively.

 

•Cattle will usually stop before reaching you. If they do not, just carry on quietly, and do not run.

 

•Should a bull or cow come up very closely, turn round to face it. If necessary take a couple of steps towards it, waving your arms and shouting firmly.

 

•Above all, do not put yourself at risk. If you feel threatened, find another way round, returning to the original path as soon as is possible.

 

•Remember to close gates behind you when walking through fields containing livestock.

 

•If you are attacked or suffer a frightening incident, report this to the landowner and the highway authority, and also the HSE and police if it is of a serious nature.

 

Personally, I find having a walking pole is a big help. I've never actually used it directly, but animals seem to understand the concept of a sharply-pointed stick and consider their options more carefully if you wave it at them. It does give you more confidence and I think that it directly helps as well, in that cattle see that you're not afraid and seem to give you more respect.

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That's what we have done. Take a few steps towards and shout loudly. Clapping hands loudly as well. We live with farmers and they often cart a length of bright blue water pipe around. Like electric fences the cows just seem to know what that means. Doing "flying over the dragon steps" I was met at the top of the arched walkway by a cow coming up it. They were a bit frisky there. And we have a running line with Lizmar about cows on their series. It's very frightening just because they seem to be so different in temperament than the cows I grew up with. Was never out of the countryside. Often feeding cows and stroking them. Now it would be no chance. I've avoided stretches because of the cows.

 

But anyway a large unpredictable anything should always be treated with the utmost care.

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Ah no I meant I would never flow that advice as I care about my dog a lot. And could never see let him fend for himself. What others do is of course their decision. The country code is the country code and what the farmer puts as a request or whatever when crossing his land is what you must do. What you decide to do is ... well whatever that is and the consequences that may or may not follow are down to you. Here they are pretty laid back about shooting dogs off the lead unless it's chasing sheep. Then it's quite ... Final.

As long as you're not responsible for anyone else, then sacrificing yourself and your dog like that is up to you. Remember that the poor dog may still be attached to your body in these circumstances.

 

All I'm saying is that official advice is to release the dog as soon as the attack begins, and I see the sense in that. Dogs are unlikely to be hurt by cattle, even if they may be frightened, and they tend to be what the cattle want to chase. Country code, farmer's notices, and so on mean nothing in these situations.

 

Confusing people by making this less clear isn't helpful.

Although I fully agree with what you say HH, we had a very bad experience with cows where we did exactly as recommended and the cow attacked our GSD Chester by flipping him in the air four times with her nose under his belly. We were calling him to come but he just stood his ground with the cow despite being in danger, he did not attack at any point just stood there barking and growling at it. Once we were out of the field he came immediately and I'm pretty sure that he was just protecting us. So in hindsight I think that we should have got out of the field ASAP and he would have followed, rather than standing near the exit calling him.

 

All that said I don't think we would do anything differently (other than getting out ASAP) in similar circumstances, however we are unlikely to be in such a situation again as we are very careful were cows are concerned (particularly with Holstein Friesian cattle), even aborting the walk if there are no alternative ways around them.

Edited by Mad H@ter
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...

Sounds very alarming, but in the end (if I understand you correctly) you did as recommended and no-one (nor animal) was seriously harmed.

 

What I was saying was that you should let the dog go and then escape as fast as you can, and I think you're confirming that it's the best option. Of course, the dog might not do as expected but even in this case there was a reasonably happy ending.

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From the NFU:

 

https://www.nfuonline.com/business/farm-safety/livestock-and-rights-of-way--reducing-the-risk/

 

http://tinyurl.com/opr5fmu

 

"When walking with dogs in fields with cattle, the advice is to avoid getting between cows and their calves; to keep your dog under close and effective control on a lead around cows and sheep, but not to hang onto your dog if you are threatened by cattle - let it go and allow the dog to run to safety.

 

This offers the best chance of a safe outcome to both you and your dog. If you feel threatened by animals protecting their territory or young, do not run. Move to the edge of the field and, if possible, find another way round."

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