Back to News

Cow attack left walker with serious injuries

The victim of a cow attack suffered multiple fractures when she was trampled and headbutted by a cow while out walking.

Katrina Elsey, one of our personal injury representatives that specialises in animal injury claims, recovered £11,000 compensation for a client that suffered horrific injuries when she was attacked by a cow.

Our client was enjoying a walk in the countryside last summer. Along with her husband, she  walked along a public footpath which led them over stiles and through a field.

There were no signs up warning about cows.

As the couple walked through the field, a herd of about 8 to 10 cows moved towards them. One of the cows charged at our client knocking her to the ground. The cow then repeatedly trampled her with its front hooves, before headbutting her several times in the torso.

The client was treated at the scene by air ambulance paramedics and taken by land ambulance to the major trauma unit at Leeds General Infirmary. There, she received treatment for a fractured skull, broken ribs, a fractured sternum, a laceration to the liver and a fracture to her wrist.

Fortunately, our client made an excellent recovery from her injuries.

Liability was admitted by the farmer and an out of court settlement was agreed.

Katrina commented:  “Many of us have enjoyed getting out and about during lockdown, going for daily walks in the countryside and enjoying the fresh air.

“The law surrounding animal claims can be complex and therefore it is important you get the correct advice on bringing a claim at the outset.

“Cattle, especially young animals, can be inquisitive and often greet walkers. Unfortunately, cows can be unpredictable animals. They are naturally protective of their calves and can attack, often causing serious injuries, sometimes fatal.”

If you have been injured by an animal contact our friendly professionals for a no obligation chat about your options. Call 01302 320621 or email


Back to News

Pandemic puppies and the countryside

The easing of lockdown restrictions has brought yet another warning about dogs – this time involving “pandemic puppies”.

There has been a surge in people buying puppies during the pandemic. Lockdown has meant that owners have not been able to socialise their young dogs with many people or other animals.  They haven’t been able to let them experience the wider outdoors either.

As a result, many farmers are concerned that the easing of lockdown coinciding with the peak of lambing season could lead to a rise in attacks on their livestock.

Mark Bridgeman, president of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), advises: “Getting a new puppy is an exciting time for everyone, although it is also a huge learning curve.

“Part of that learning curve is teaching your dog how to interact with other animals safely.

“With lockdown restrictions easing up as the crucial lambing season is hitting its peak, we want to help inform the millions of people who are new owners on how to protect their dog and keep farm animals safe, allowing everyone to enjoy the countryside together.”

Livestock worrying

Police warn that livestock worrying  is a criminal offence that carries a  6- month prison sentence and/or a £1,000 fine. Not having the dog on a lead or under close control when near livestock is also an offence.

Tough new legislation is coming into force in Scotland shortly will see fines of up to £40,000, and 12- month prison sentences handed out. The police will also be given far more powers to investigate dog attacks.

Katrina Elsey, personal injury specialist at Atherton Godfrey, commented: “It’s important to make sure dogs are kept under proper control at all times. Aside from the harm the dog can cause to farm animals, there is a significant risk to humans if cattle are frightened. There have been several cases recently of people being killed by cows that had been startled by dogs.

“People also have a responsibility to other dog owners out enjoying the countryside.”

The National Farmers Union Mutual statistics put the cost of dog attacks on farm animals at an estimated £1.3m, an increase of more than 10 per cent last year.