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To think the de-horning of cattle in the New Forest to protect walkers is wrong?

(70 Posts)
merlotgran Fri 18-Oct-19 13:55:01

As the article points out, horns are often removed for husbandry reasons but I think anyone walking in areas where animals graze should take responsibility for their own safety and keep their dogs under control.

What do you think?

Saetana Sun 20-Oct-19 01:39:24

Disgusting people promoting the de-horning of cattle! Keep yourselves and your dogs away from them - its not rocket science! Remember the forests and countryside are the animals' natural habitat - not humans - its a horrible procedure with massive distress to the poor animal it is being inflicted on. Its people like you who are partly responsible for species extinction with your demanding animals are brutally altered to suit humans!

Fennel Sun 20-Oct-19 12:26:48

GreyDuster - I loved your story (yesterday morning). We used to walk in that area but never met cattle.
But there was an incident when we were walking in the Col d'Arreau in the foothills of the Pyrenees with our new border collie puppy. There were a lot of horned cattle around which were ok if you ignored them But our little Tip ran up to confront one, and received a gentle headbut, which sent him tumbling down the hill. He was much more respectful after that.
Our female bc was descended from parents who actually herded these semi wild cattle, and she was more careful in her approach, but not intimidated.

Fennel Sun 20-Oct-19 12:30:18

ps Col d'Aspin, not Arreau.

planete Sun 20-Oct-19 13:27:42

The only reason cattle in the New Forest are becoming aggressive is because some have been bothered by loose dogs. I have lived, ridden and walked in the New Forest for thirty years. The problem has only arisen in the last few years. There seem to be more dogs around and more people who believe it is their dogs' right to be free to run everywhere. Cattle in large open spaces normally leave people alone if they are not approached. All attempts at education seem to fall on deaf ears unfortunately. People will persist in approaching and feeding the ponies and letting their untrained dogs off lead. Some man was seen trying to put his toddler on a mare's back the other day! The animals are unbroken to ride and well able to kick and bite. The cattle which have become weary of dogs will charge first and ask questions later I am afraid and the more they have been bothered the quicker it happens.
I would not dehorn them, it is an unnecessary hassle and expense for the Commoners and a dehorned cow can still kill somebody.

We have posters in all the car parks instructing tourists on how to behave around the animals. The rangers and keepers try to police the visitors' behaviour but they cannot be everywhere at once.

Labaik Sun 20-Oct-19 15:22:52

Thanks for that, planete. Good to get information from someone that knows the area and understands the reasoning behind the situation.

Fennel Sun 20-Oct-19 15:59:34

Thanks from me too planete.
I've also noticed there are more dogs around these days.

MissAdventure Sun 20-Oct-19 16:23:04

It's also worth clicking on hetty's link, if you can stomach it.

Davidhs Sun 20-Oct-19 16:58:36

There are around people killed by cattle each year so that i# far more than by dogs for instance, a lot more are seriously injured. Most are farmers, their families or workers, there are 1 or 2 walkers killed each year, plus a lot of near misses, almost all had dogs with them. If you must walk the dog keep away from cows, if you do find yourself threatened by cows LET THE DOG GO and save yourself. The cows will chase the dog who is a lot more agile than you and will almost always escape.

Dehorning, almost all commercial cattle are either dehorned or naturally polled, when they are housed in winter it makes them much easier to manage and saves injury, to each other and workers. The exception would be Rare Breeds, Highland, Longhorn and a few others, also some herds that live outdoors year round. If all cattle were polled it would be great but that’s not possible and safety and welfare must come first.

Davidhs Sun 20-Oct-19 16:59:27

10 each year

Labaik Sun 20-Oct-19 20:12:33

Are there wild boar in the New Forest as well?

lemongrove Sun 20-Oct-19 20:20:34

Having been walking recently in the New Forest ( and yes! It’s for people to enjoy as well as animals) avoiding cows with calves ( and therefore aggressive) is quite difficult, and even with a dog on the lead, you can still be charged at.
So de -horning is a good idea.Not sure it would ever happen though.There are ponies and cattle wandering everywhere so impossible to avoid coming upon them.

lemongrove Sun 20-Oct-19 20:22:30

I think there are Labaik but you would be unlikely to see (live) ones, I was more bothered about adders tbh.

Labaik Sun 20-Oct-19 23:57:50

As with most thing it's quite a complicated issue isn't it.The only time we walk near cattle with a dog is when we have to walk across the dunes to the beach in winter when they graze cattle in them. It's a large area but we do sometimes have to walk past them. Other than that I would never walk through a field of cattle even without a dog; they really scare me!

planete Mon 21-Oct-19 18:05:21

There are no wild boars of the Forest (yet). Domestic pigs are turned out on the Forest for a few weeks in the Autumn so that they can hoover up the acorns which are harmful to the ponies. there are some out right now. They are usually harmless but be aware a sow with piglets will object strongly to a dog approaching.

I walk on the Forest most days with my three on lead lurchers and have never been charged. I do keep an eye on the animals though and it is a good rule to keep your dogs very close to you so the cattle do not think they are able to leave you and get near them. As long as cattle and horses keep grazing as you walk by you are safe. If the head comes up and you get stared at, move away at a normal walk, even if it means leaving the track and heading into the heather. If you get followed, pick up a piece of wood off the floor and throw it at the animal, you can accompany this with a loud yell if you feel like it to make yourself even more scary. It has always worked for me.

Labaik Mon 21-Oct-19 18:14:05

Thanks; the cattle do tend to look at us as we walk by them. Our whippet is very rarely off lead unless we have a completely clear beach with no other dogs in sight. We did see a cow charge at a fox last year [it was in the field at the back] which made us think that cattle regard dogs as foxes perhaps. I'm very envious of you walking your dogs in such a beautiful place!

Loislovesstewie Mon 21-Oct-19 18:18:21

Granarchist ; you are the only person I have ever seen using the word 'bunt' apart from members of my family! Excellent!

timetogo2016 Wed 30-Oct-19 09:16:00

Your on their territory so they are protecting themselves.
Just as we would if someone walked into our homes.
Common sense is needed here.
Removing their horns is an absolute disgraceful idea.

Fiachna50 Wed 30-Oct-19 09:48:05

Im sorry, but if people walk through a field of cattle with their dog running about stupid. The farmer has a right to shoot the dog, as far as the law goes. I don't know why people cannot keep their dogs on a lead. Then they will moan if the cattle hurt the dog or the dog gets shot. What is wrong with people? Why don't they think?Some dogs nowadays are huge, of course cattle are going to feel threatened. I never walk through a herd of cattle, I walk at the edge of the field but it's seldom I ever need to do this. I live in an area with quite a few herds.

Labaik Thu 31-Oct-19 16:04:29

Cattle are still attracted to a dog on a lead. I've been pinned in a corner by some huge Charolaix [sp] bullocks whilst walking my dog through a field near to my house. I no longer walk there when there are bullocks in the field.