Previous cow attack victims speak of fears after tragic farm death

Victims of cow attacks at a farm in Turleigh, near Winsley, have spoken out about the latest incident, after a man was trampled to death by a herd of cows yesterday.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance was called to the incident at about 12.30pm on Monday, but despite the best efforts of the paramedics, the 66-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man was walking two dogs with his brother, believed to be in his early 70s, who was also seriously injured in the incident.

He was airlifted by Wiltshire Air Ambulance to the major trauma centre at Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, with a collapsed lung and broken ribs. He remains in a serious, but stable condition.
The incident was the fourth in five years at the same spot near the canal between Turleigh and Avoncliff and previous victims have said it was only a matter of time until someone was fatally injured.

David Billington

David Billington

David Billington, 48, of Dane Rise, Winsley, was left with two broken vertebrae in his neck and a severe leg injury after he was attacked while walking home from The Cross Guns pub in 2011.

Mr Billington, who was walking along the public footpath through a field between the Avoncliff aqueduct and Winsley Cricket Club when he was injured, said: “I was knocked to the ground by a cow and trampled on, so I was lucky I survived.

“I had been walking in that field for 15 years and I would give them a good distance, but one of the cows charged me from behind. I wouldn’t go into a field with cows in now.

“I heard about the most recent incident yesterday evening when I was in The Cross Guns, but people need to be warned more about walking in that field.

“They did put up signs after my incident, but most have been taken down or have faded. I was kind of inevitable that someone would be killed and it’s very sad news.”

web_dark_v02Simon Dark, 44, who lives in Poston Way, Winsley, suffered a head injury and a fractured collarbone in 2008, while walking his Staffordshire bull terrier through the same field.

Mr Dark said: “I always used to walk in that field once or twice a week, but I haven’t been in there for ages, especially when there are calves.

“I heard about the latest incident yesterday, but I wasn’t surprised that someone had been killed, as something was going to happen sooner or later.”

Ross Culligan, a paramedic for Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “We attended the scene in Turleigh and there were two patients, both men, who had been trampled by up to 40 cattle.

“The younger of the two sustained injuries that were catastrophic and despite the intervention of Wiltshire Air Ambulance paramedics and land paramedics, he was later declared deceased at the scene.

“His brother was airlifted to Frenchay Hospitals’s major trauma centre, suffering a serious chest injury, and he remains in a stable condition.”

Farmer Brian Godwin, of Timothy Rise Farm, Winsley Hill, who leases the land, has been affected by the incident, but declined to comment.

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    • Animal expert’s warning to dog walkers

      Animal behaviourist Trudi Atkinson has issued advice to dog walkers about the signs to look out for when walking across fields where there are cows.

      Mrs Atkinson, who lives in Bradford on Avon, is an Accredited Clinical Animal Behaviourist. She says that because young cattle can become panicky when they see people or dogs, people should avoid walking dogs in fields where there are cows with calves or young cattle.

      “Do not assume that a field is safe just because it is a public footpath. It’s especially important that in any field with livestock, walkers keep their dog on a short lead and close by. However, if the cattle come close and appear threatened by the dog, let the dog off the lead,” she said.

      “Dog walkers should not put themselves at danger by trying to protect their dog, because a dog will have more chance of getting away safely if it is off the lead.”

      From the Wiltshire Times

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