To: National Safety Executive. National Farmers’ Union
Petition for safety on public footpaths when crossing cattle fields
We have an average of 3 deaths, 40 serious injuries and 37 injuries requiring treatment every year from cattle (BBC 2014 report, similar to BBC 2009 report with figures from Health and Safety Executive). This doesn’t include the multiple minor injuries and near misses that don’t get reported. These are fit healthy walkers who die or suffer life changing injuries and/or mental health sequelae. A coroner called for a national debate after the death by deliberate trampling by a herd of a walker in 2015 in Wiltshire.
If you speak to any walker, they all know someone who has had an unpleasant encounter with cattle. These could all have been more serious and we are counting on luck to avoid this.
This damages the leisure and health benefits for the nation of walking.
We need to act.
1. Do cattle need to be in a field with a footpath?
2. Can the footpath be reasonably diverted?
3. Can a footpath be fenced off with an escape route over the adjacent boundary?
4. Can we look at a grant scheme for the costs?
Why is this important?
To avoid preventable deaths and injuries and keep our countryside open to walkers.