Cow attack survivor tells of horror at Chippenham tragedy

This Is Wiltshire: Karen Herbert with her dogs Tia and Taz Karen Herbert with her dogs Tia and Taz

The survivor of a recent cow attack has spoken of her horror after hearing of the death yesterday of dog walker Sandra Wiltshire.

Nurse Karen Herbert fractured her ribs and her shoulder blade after she was trampled by a cow on National Trust farmland several weeks ago.

At the time of the attack on the Cherhill Downs, Ms Herbert was walking across a field of cows on a public footpath with her dogs Tia and Taz.

She was airlifted to The First Great Western Hospital, Swindon, and is now recovering at home.

Ms Herbert, of Bryans Close, Calne, said she was shocked to hear of yesterday’s tragedy and her sympathies were with Mrs Wiltshire’s family.

She said: “I was devastated, it brought everything back to life. I thought actually that could have been me. I know what that poor woman went through, all of that anxiety and fear.

“I was absolutely mortified and really upset about it all, it must be awful for her family. I am just amazed there has been another incident so soon after mine.”

After Ms Herbert was injured the National Trust said the animal involved had been monitored and was not showing any behaviour that would cause concern.

Ms Herbert said she had been contacted by the Trust as well as Health and Safety, howerver, she said he was concerned the herd of cows is still in the same field.

She said: “I am so cross that particular herd is stil on the foot path.

“I won’t walk my dogs in a field where there is cows anymore. If I see a cow I shall turn round and I would advise anybody, whether they have a dog or not, just not to do it.”

Comments (12)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:01pm Fri 12 Oct 12

elfwyn says...

My dog was also attacked and chased by cows with calves, in a field crossed by a public footpath in Bromham. The field is L shaped and we couldn't see there were cows in it until they appeared round the corner and charged. My dog, an old fat labrador, just managed to reach a gap in the hedge in time. If I'd had her on a lead, we probably would both have been trampled. A farmer friend told me that if you do enter a field with cows, keep your dog OFF the lead. It will outrun any cow, and if it's too close to you, you will be attacked as well, with possibly fatal consequences.
I think that farmers should never put cows with calves in any field with a public footpath or which the public regularly access.
My dog was also attacked and chased by cows with calves, in a field crossed by a public footpath in Bromham. The field is L shaped and we couldn't see there were cows in it until they appeared round the corner and charged. My dog, an old fat labrador, just managed to reach a gap in the hedge in time. If I'd had her on a lead, we probably would both have been trampled. A farmer friend told me that if you do enter a field with cows, keep your dog OFF the lead. It will outrun any cow, and if it's too close to you, you will be attacked as well, with possibly fatal consequences. I think that farmers should never put cows with calves in any field with a public footpath or which the public regularly access. elfwyn
  • Score: 0

6:59pm Fri 12 Oct 12

Cowlady says...

I own a herd of suckler cows and calves and totally agree that if you are approached by any cattle in a field with a dog, let it go, it is likely that the cows are after the dog and it is more likely to be able to outrun them than you can. Having said that, cows (especially with calves) are unpredictable animals. My cows are fine with me but don't like strangers around. A stranger - especially with a dog, is a predator to a cow and it is only doing what comes naturally by protecting its calf, as you would protect your child if danger was near. It is not fair that a farmer should not put his own animals in his own field because a footpath runs through it, this year especially has been a very difficult year because the fields are so wet and animals have had to be moved more frequently with all fields being used, why shouldn't he use his own ground? People should respect other peoples property and if they feel danger is in that field, keep out! Would you enter a field with a footpath in it if you thought there was a wild bear in it?
I own a herd of suckler cows and calves and totally agree that if you are approached by any cattle in a field with a dog, let it go, it is likely that the cows are after the dog and it is more likely to be able to outrun them than you can. Having said that, cows (especially with calves) are unpredictable animals. My cows are fine with me but don't like strangers around. A stranger - especially with a dog, is a predator to a cow and it is only doing what comes naturally by protecting its calf, as you would protect your child if danger was near. It is not fair that a farmer should not put his own animals in his own field because a footpath runs through it, this year especially has been a very difficult year because the fields are so wet and animals have had to be moved more frequently with all fields being used, why shouldn't he use his own ground? People should respect other peoples property and if they feel danger is in that field, keep out! Would you enter a field with a footpath in it if you thought there was a wild bear in it? Cowlady
  • Score: 0

8:49pm Fri 12 Oct 12

hairclip says...

This is a HUGE area, there are well in excess of 600 acres with many footpaths to choose from, you CHOSE to walk through a field where the cows were herded in order to be TB tested. The cow that trampled you had a 6 month old calf at foot and therefore was doing what comes naturally and defending it. The fact that you have got another headline on the back of someone else's tragedy is quite frankly disgusting. Go and walk quietly somewhere else - there are plenty of different routes to chose from!
This is a HUGE area, there are well in excess of 600 acres with many footpaths to choose from, you CHOSE to walk through a field where the cows were herded in order to be TB tested. The cow that trampled you had a 6 month old calf at foot and therefore was doing what comes naturally and defending it. The fact that you have got another headline on the back of someone else's tragedy is quite frankly disgusting. Go and walk quietly somewhere else - there are plenty of different routes to chose from! hairclip
  • Score: 0

9:11pm Fri 12 Oct 12

Mrs2207 says...

Actually 'hairclip' the bbc approached my mum and asked her for an interview....so wind your neck in and have a bit of respect! My mum is only trying to warn people of the dangers she doesn't want all the public attention...look at what the likes of you are saying about her! Watch your mouth!!!!!

Yes she walked through a field with cows in it and people do it every day maybe the footpath could be fenced off through a farmers field otherwise incidents like this will carry on happening!
Actually 'hairclip' the bbc approached my mum and asked her for an interview....so wind your neck in and have a bit of respect! My mum is only trying to warn people of the dangers she doesn't want all the public attention...look at what the likes of you are saying about her! Watch your mouth!!!!! Yes she walked through a field with cows in it and people do it every day maybe the footpath could be fenced off through a farmers field otherwise incidents like this will carry on happening! Mrs2207
  • Score: 0

9:46pm Fri 12 Oct 12

hairclip says...

The land up there is owned by the National Trust, there are warning signs on every single gate!!! Incidents like this occur when people blatently ignore them or think they know better. I don't wish any harm on anybody, but like I've said before, she made her choice, she must take responsibility. Cows haven't suddenly got more dangerous, people have become more stupid!!!!!!
The land up there is owned by the National Trust, there are warning signs on every single gate!!! Incidents like this occur when people blatently ignore them or think they know better. I don't wish any harm on anybody, but like I've said before, she made her choice, she must take responsibility. Cows haven't suddenly got more dangerous, people have become more stupid!!!!!! hairclip
  • Score: 0

11:52am Sat 13 Oct 12

Roy-Orbit of Chippenham says...

mmm.....blue fence panels eh, very 1990's.
mmm.....blue fence panels eh, very 1990's. Roy-Orbit of Chippenham
  • Score: 0

1:41pm Sat 13 Oct 12

elfwyn says...

Cowlady wrote:
I own a herd of suckler cows and calves and totally agree that if you are approached by any cattle in a field with a dog, let it go, it is likely that the cows are after the dog and it is more likely to be able to outrun them than you can. Having said that, cows (especially with calves) are unpredictable animals. My cows are fine with me but don't like strangers around. A stranger - especially with a dog, is a predator to a cow and it is only doing what comes naturally by protecting its calf, as you would protect your child if danger was near. It is not fair that a farmer should not put his own animals in his own field because a footpath runs through it, this year especially has been a very difficult year because the fields are so wet and animals have had to be moved more frequently with all fields being used, why shouldn't he use his own ground? People should respect other peoples property and if they feel danger is in that field, keep out! Would you enter a field with a footpath in it if you thought there was a wild bear in it?
'People should respect other peoples property and if they feel danger is in that field, keep out! Would you enter a field with a footpath in it if you thought there was a wild bear in it?'

As I said, I had no idea there were cows with calves in that field, because of its shape. If I'd known, I wouldn't have gone that way. They were Charollais, which are apparently famously aggressive - as is the farmer - I would have complained to him, but I knew I'd only get a mouthful of abuse.
And I would also point out that there are already laws stating that certain types of livestock (eg dairy bulls) can't be put in fields with a public footpath crossing them: and that a walker has a legal right to use a public right of way without being obstructed. Putting a herd of potentially dangerous cattle (ie with calves) in a field with lawful public access could be classed as an obstruction.
[quote][p][bold]Cowlady[/bold] wrote: I own a herd of suckler cows and calves and totally agree that if you are approached by any cattle in a field with a dog, let it go, it is likely that the cows are after the dog and it is more likely to be able to outrun them than you can. Having said that, cows (especially with calves) are unpredictable animals. My cows are fine with me but don't like strangers around. A stranger - especially with a dog, is a predator to a cow and it is only doing what comes naturally by protecting its calf, as you would protect your child if danger was near. It is not fair that a farmer should not put his own animals in his own field because a footpath runs through it, this year especially has been a very difficult year because the fields are so wet and animals have had to be moved more frequently with all fields being used, why shouldn't he use his own ground? People should respect other peoples property and if they feel danger is in that field, keep out! Would you enter a field with a footpath in it if you thought there was a wild bear in it?[/p][/quote]'People should respect other peoples property and if they feel danger is in that field, keep out! Would you enter a field with a footpath in it if you thought there was a wild bear in it?' As I said, I had no idea there were cows with calves in that field, because of its shape. If I'd known, I wouldn't have gone that way. They were Charollais, which are apparently famously aggressive - as is the farmer - I would have complained to him, but I knew I'd only get a mouthful of abuse. And I would also point out that there are already laws stating that certain types of livestock (eg dairy bulls) can't be put in fields with a public footpath crossing them: and that a walker has a legal right to use a public right of way without being obstructed. Putting a herd of potentially dangerous cattle (ie with calves) in a field with lawful public access could be classed as an obstruction. elfwyn
  • Score: 0

4:33pm Sat 13 Oct 12

Cowlady says...

Charolais are not particularly agressive cattle but they are one of the larger breeds. I agree that there are laws stating that animals known to be agressive should not be on a public right of way, however, the vast majority of cattle are normally very quiet and would more likely stay away from people than come closer. As I said, cattle are unpredictable, they are not pets, and should never be trusted. Even the most placid can have a bad day, as can any animal. If it were taken the way you write it, no cow should ever be in a field with a footpath in it. With the amount of footpaths there are in the countryside that would mean we have to get rid of an awful lot of cows unless you want them all housed permanently which is not a natural way of keeping them. By the way, sheep can be agressive too and can cause damage if they want to, so should they also be kept off the fields with footpaths?
Charolais are not particularly agressive cattle but they are one of the larger breeds. I agree that there are laws stating that animals known to be agressive should not be on a public right of way, however, the vast majority of cattle are normally very quiet and would more likely stay away from people than come closer. As I said, cattle are unpredictable, they are not pets, and should never be trusted. Even the most placid can have a bad day, as can any animal. If it were taken the way you write it, no cow should ever be in a field with a footpath in it. With the amount of footpaths there are in the countryside that would mean we have to get rid of an awful lot of cows unless you want them all housed permanently which is not a natural way of keeping them. By the way, sheep can be agressive too and can cause damage if they want to, so should they also be kept off the fields with footpaths? Cowlady
  • Score: 0

1:57am Mon 15 Oct 12

ladyem says...

No doubt their will be a compensation claim made. Well the more exposure about this , the bigger the payout correct? I dont think the cows or Farmer is at fault. Very isolated incident. People shouldnt respect other peoples land and not walk through it. Whethers their a foot path or not. I dont think anyone would like it if people walked through their garden / across their drive way. I do feel sorry for farmers who have unfortunately got a foot path what runs through their field as they seem to get no say of whom comes through their land which is utterly ridiculous!
No doubt their will be a compensation claim made. Well the more exposure about this , the bigger the payout correct? I dont think the cows or Farmer is at fault. Very isolated incident. People shouldnt respect other peoples land and not walk through it. Whethers their a foot path or not. I dont think anyone would like it if people walked through their garden / across their drive way. I do feel sorry for farmers who have unfortunately got a foot path what runs through their field as they seem to get no say of whom comes through their land which is utterly ridiculous! ladyem
  • Score: 0

7:51am Mon 15 Oct 12

wondering why says...

The advice is simple let go of your dog and walk the other way, cows won't come after you.

A public footpath does not mean a right of way for your pets just you and you do so at your own risk as you are being permitted access across a piece of private land.
The advice is simple let go of your dog and walk the other way, cows won't come after you. A public footpath does not mean a right of way for your pets just you and you do so at your own risk as you are being permitted access across a piece of private land. wondering why
  • Score: 0

1:57pm Mon 15 Oct 12

chips-in-ham says...

wondering why wrote:
The advice is simple let go of your dog and walk the other way, cows won't come after you.

A public footpath does not mean a right of way for your pets just you and you do so at your own risk as you are being permitted access across a piece of private land.
I udderly agree!
[quote][p][bold]wondering why[/bold] wrote: The advice is simple let go of your dog and walk the other way, cows won't come after you. A public footpath does not mean a right of way for your pets just you and you do so at your own risk as you are being permitted access across a piece of private land.[/p][/quote]I udderly agree! chips-in-ham
  • Score: 0

3:35pm Mon 15 Oct 12

notscot says...

wondering why wrote:
The advice is simple let go of your dog and walk the other way, cows won't come after you.

A public footpath does not mean a right of way for your pets just you and you do so at your own risk as you are being permitted access across a piece of private land.
Sensible advice.
[quote][p][bold]wondering why[/bold] wrote: The advice is simple let go of your dog and walk the other way, cows won't come after you. A public footpath does not mean a right of way for your pets just you and you do so at your own risk as you are being permitted access across a piece of private land.[/p][/quote]Sensible advice. notscot
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree