Being around cattle

Highland cattle

Cattle will often not be interested in you, but some are naturally inquisitive. If a cow is interested in you, try not to startle them and certainly don’t run, they may think it’s a great idea and decide to join you!

Here are some tips on being around cattle:

1. Cattle will often not be interested in you, but some are naturally inquisitive, if a cow is interested in you, try not to startle them and certainly don’t run, they may think it’s a great idea and decide to join you! Small children should be kept close to you as they may startle an animal accidentally. If cattle run towards you, they will stop before getting too close, if they start to follow you, just stay calm and continue walking. You will lose them at the next stile or gate.

2. If your route brings you close to an animal, whistle or talk to them as you approach so that they know you are coming. If you then walk quietly past and away, the animals are more likely to ignore you. They may be excited or frightened by large groups of people among them, so try to keep group members calm and quiet as you pass.

3. If you find cattle blocking your way, clap your hands and spread your arms as you approach and they should move out of your way. If not, leave the path and go round them. Never try to move them by pushing them or making any contact.

4. Dogs should be kept under close control, never allow your dog to chase livestock! It causes distress and may result in injury, especially if the animal is pregnant. If animals appear to be closely interested in your dog, let it run away and meet you further along, odds are it will out run them, but you might not. If you pick up your dog, the animals may still try and get close to it. If your dog is very old or slow, for its own safety you should perhaps find another route to avoid this situation developing.

5. Think ahead. Don’t allow yourself to become cornered by a group of cattle. They may be curious and cows pushing from the back could cause those in front to panic if they are forced too close to you.

6. Farm animals are not pets. Don’t feed or stroke them, as this can lead to problems. They may begin to think that all humans are bringing them food and approach everyone they see. If you want to take a photograph, have your camera ready before you get to them as they may think your rucksack has food in it, if you open it in front of them.