Call for New Forest cattle to be de-horned

Call for New Forest cattle to be de-horned

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 12:25pm 15th October 2019.

Livestock owners urged to remove horns from their animals following a spate of attacks on walkers.

The New Forest Commoners' Defence Association has written to 200 people who are registered to turn their cattle out to graze on the New Forest

Chair Tony Hockley says it follows several 'dangerous incidents' involving livestock over the past two years.

In one case an elderly woman was left with a deep wound to her leg after she was attacked by a cow near her home in Fritham.

It's thought she and her dog may have inadvertently come between the cow and a calf hidden in undergrowth when she was gored on 20 July.

Mr Hockley says incidents like these are 'deeply distressing' for everyone involved.

He says the call to ask commoners to de-horn their livestock is the right way forward.

"This was the one step that our Association felt we could take ourselves that might mitigate the harm done by the situation in which the New Forest now finds itself. Most cattle are already dehorned, which suggests that it is not something that would deter people from turning cattle out to graze."

British breeds for which horns are an essential characteristic, primarily English Longhorns and Highlands will be excluded as there are not believed to be any incidents involving those two breeds.

Highland cow pixabay jpg
Highland cows will be exempt from the call to be de-horned.

Mr Hockley says that the CDA will also be stepping up its campaign for better signage on appropriate behaviour around livestock, particularly the close control of dogs, and enforcement of law and byelaws related to this.

"People seem to have lost all connection with the countryside and any healthy respect for large livestock.

People seem genuinely unwilling to make even a small detour around livestock, and just to put their dog on a short lead around grazing animals. Yet the land is accessible to walkers because of the grazing. "

Dog on lead ( Hen)
You can help by keeping your dog on a lead near livestock.

He's urging dog owners to help do their bit by keeping their pets under control.

"Poor behaviour by a few, makes potential victims of the many. One badly-controlled dog can make an animal defensive to other dogs, however well-controlled. We would urge people to inform the Police whenever they witness a dog out of control around livestock. It is illegal and reporting it helps protect everyone."

 

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