A DOG walker was thrown eight feet into the air by a cow which then repeatedly trampled on him as he tried to crawl away, breaking six ribs of his ribs and leaving him with damage to his lungs and spleen.
Steve Adams, from Warwickshire, was on holiday with his wife Jane in East Devon in 2021 when they went for a walk with their Springer Spaniel, which was on a lead.
They were walking along a public footpath through a field containing some 20 cows with calves when one of the cows attacked, leaving Steve badly injured.
He managed to crawl away but had to spend seven days in intensive care.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation established cattle with young calves were being kept in a field with a public right of way across it.
The farmer responsible for the cattle has been ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling more than £3,500.
Steve, who is now 63, and retired from a career in the transport industry, said: “My own grandfather was a farmer, so I’d been around cattle as a child, and I wasn’t scared of them. Now, I wouldn’t go into a field with cows, you don’t know what’s going to happen. People should be very wary of cows.”
“It was just the one cow, the biggest one. It came up and threw me into the air with its head and then it trod all over me. I was trying to crawl out of the way, but it just kept landing its hooves on me.
“The dog was on its lead and I’d managed to let it go and it made it away. My wife had one of those plastic ball throwers for the dog and she was hitting the cow with it but it made no difference at all. I managed to roll away from under it.
“I wasn’t feeling too good at all, I couldn’t breathe. It had taken us about 15 minutes to walk to where it happened, but it took us about two and half hours to make it back to the van. An ambulance was called to the site and they said straight away that I’d broken my ribs. It was a pretty scary day.
“I don’t walk too much now. I’m not as healthy as I was, and I can still feel my injuries now.”
HSE inspector Simon Jones said the attack was totally preventable.
He added: “Cattle are extremely protective of their calves and even calm cattle can become aggressive if they think the calves may, in any way, be threatened, even by members of the public walking past.
“Farmers should not place cattle with calves in fields where members of the public have a legal right to walk unless appropriate measures are in place such as robust fencing separating cattle from people.”