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Cow stampede death near Uttoxeter prompts investigation

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THE Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said it is working with the owner of cattle that killed a holiday-maker and, a few hours later, injured a walker to ensure the accidents do not happen again.

The HSE is carrying out an investigation in to the death of Peter Jakeman, 62, who was on holiday in Upper Mayfield, near Uttoxeter when he, his wife and his two dogs were caught in a ‘stampede’ of cattle.

His wife escaped with a chest injury but Mr Jakeman, from Cornwall, died after being airlifted to hospital for treatment.

Later that day, at around noon, Robert Tatler, 68, from Idridgehay was walking through a nearby field with two dogs when he was attacked by a herd of cows who, he claims, ignored the dogs and “went for him”.

A spokesman for the HSE said: “As part of our investigations, we are discussing appropriate steps with the farmer which he can take to minimise the risk to members of the public accessing the land in question.”

The Ramblers, a national charity which represents more than 100,000 members and campaigns for walkers’ rights, says the farmer must now act to move the cattle out of any fields which have footpaths crossing them.

Farmer, Richard Toon, of Lower Grounds Farm, has moved the cattle and every single footpath entering his fields says ‘be aware, cows with calves’.

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.”

A spokesman for the National Farmer’s Union said shortly after the attacks that it would be difficult for the farmer, Richard Toon, to move the cows as all his fields were criss-crossed with footpaths.

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