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Farmer ordered to pay £6.5k after his cows trampled pensioner and his dog

A farmer has been hit with a £5,000 fine after a pensioner was knocked to the ground by a herd of cows.

Retired chartered surveyor Patrick Atherton, 70, and his 13-year-old Border Collie ‘Lad’ were knocked to the ground by seven cows.


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Originally from The Wirral, Merseyside, Atherton said he thought he was going to die during the attack at Birdcage Farm.

Throughout the traumatic ordeal, Atherton also was forced to listen to Lad shrieking from pain as he was attacked.

Thankfully the collie survived his injuries – but had to be medicated for the rest of his life, and was never the same.

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Seven cows charged at Mr Atherton (file pic)

PA

Atherton added: “It was ironic that for the first time I had kept Lad on his lead as I had noticed two young calves in the field and thought if he was walking by my side they wouldn’t really notice.

“Unfortunately, one black cow did and it charged at us, knocking me down by the hedge that bordered the path.

“I tried to stand up and let Lad off his lead but they kept on knocking me over. There was about seven cows involved, but it was the very aggressive black cow that was trying to kill my dog.

“We were both surrounded by cattle. I could hear Lad shrieking in pain as he was repeatedly kicked and stamped on. He was never the same dog after what happened and he sadly passed away in September this year.”

Exeter Crown Court

Hallett was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,500 at Exeter Magistrates’ Court

PA

Following the incident Hallett pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Hallett was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,500 at Exeter Magistrates’ Court.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident found that cattle with young calves were being kept in a field with a public right of way across it.

HSE inspector Simon Jones said: “Farmers should not place cattle with calves in fields where members of the public have a legal right to walk.

“Had John Hallett followed this simple rule, then this incident could have been prevented.”

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