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The Ramblers: "cows should be moved now"

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: May 21, 2014

The Ramblers: "cows should be moved now"

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A WALKING group has told the News Telegraph it thinks cows which caused the death of a walker and later hospitalised another should be moved out of their field.

The Ramblers, a national charity which represents more than 100,000 members and campaigns for walkers' rights, has responded to news that a few hours after holiday-maker Peter Jakeman was killed in a field of cows a second walker was injured in an "attack" a short distance away.

Mr Jakeman, 62, from Cornwall, was walking along the Limestone Way in Upper Mayfield on Wednesday, May 14 with his wife Hilary and their two cocker spaniels died in hospital shortly after cattle "stampeded".

Robert Tatler, 68 from Idridgehay, was walking around midday in a field close to the scene of Mr Jakeman's accident when he was surrounded by cows belonging to the same farmer, some of which became aggressive and started head-butting him to the ground.

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Janet Davis, senior policy officer at the Ramblers, said: “Our sympathies go out to the family of Peter Jakeman.

“Although we are not aware of the specific details of the incident, we are always deeply saddened to hear of the death of a walker.

"Though they do happen, attacks by farm animals are rare and thousands of walkers enjoy trips to the countryside without incident every year.

"However, the countryside is also a working environment, and it’s important to be mindful of that.

“The Health and Safety Executive state that farmers must carry out a risk assessment when keeping cattle in a field with a public footpath passing through it, in order to help ensure the public’s safety.

"The HSE say if you have an animal known or suspected to be aggressive, then it should not be kept in a field that is used by the public.

“In this particular case, because the herd caused the death of a walker and attacked another, in line with the HSE advice, we would call for the herd to be moved to a field that does not have a footpath passing through it.”

Mr Tatler was able to walk away from his episode but he was later taken by a family member to Royal Derby Hospital suffering stomach pains and swelling.

He was kept in for four nights while doctors checked for internal injuries and says he thinks the cows should now be moved on.

He said: "I'm not unforgiving about the cows but I do worry that it could happen again while they're still in the field.

"I think they shouldn't be in a field where there's a footpath or there should at least be a sign up to warn people they're dangerous cattle. It's not as if the dogs were bothering them at all, it was me they went for.

"I'd imagine they were being protective but I'm just concerned that it wasn't one attack, I was attacked twice and they came at me out of nowhere - it's not as if I was walking towards them."

On the Saturday after Mr Jakeman was killed and Mr Tatler was injured a 70-year-old man was airlifted from a field in Baslow after being injured in a field of cows. He was flown to a hospital in Sheffield but his condition is not yet known.

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