Father attacked by cows

Tony Dack, his son, eight-year-old Jacob and their dog Marvin, who were attacked by cows near Norwood Green
Tony Dack, his son, eight-year-old Jacob and their dog Marvin, who were attacked by cows near Norwood Green

A FATHER and son have been ambushed by a herd of cows in Norwood Green.

Tony Dack, from Norwood Green, was on his way back from a visit to Bailiff Bridge with his nine-year-old son Jacob and dog Marvin when they were attacked by between 30 and 40 cows.

The cows surrounded them and then one charged at Mr Dack, knocking him to the floor and leaving him unconcious.

“It was the most frightening thing I’ve ever experienced,” said Mr Dack, 49. “The one that hit me was massive.”

They were walking through the field adjacent to Nord Green Nurseries on Leeds Road when they saw the cows had gathered around the footpath. The land is privately owned but with a public footpath running through the middle.

The animals started moving towards them and then surrounded them. Mr Dack said the cows were getting agitated.

Jacob and Marvin - a spinone - managed to run off but Mr Dack could not get away and was knocked over when one of them charged.

“I play football and would have thought I’d be able to get out of the way but I didn’t have time,” he said.

They managed to get to a friend’s house nearby and Mr Dack was rushed to hospital. Fortunately, a scan showed he was not seriously injured and he is now recovering at home.

This is the latest in a catalogue of incidents in recent weeks.

Earlier this month a walker from Halifax was left in a critical condition after he was trampled by cows as he walked along a public footpath with his wife in a field on the outskirts of Romaldkirk, near Barnard Castle, County Durham.

And last week schoolchildren and villagers were terrorised by a rampaging cow running wild in the streets of Netherton, Huddersfield.

Mr Dack is now urging walkers to take care while out in Calderdale.

He said he made sure Marvin was on a lead as they went through the field but he has since heard that official advice is to let dogs go if cows attack.

His fear is that other people who walk through the field, including schoolchildren, could also be attacked.

A spokesperson for the National Farmers Union (NFU) said nine out of ten incidents with cows and walkers happen when a dog is present.

She said: “People should try to give cows a wide berth if they can.

“If you have a dog, keep it on a lead while you’re crossing the field but if the cows get too close then we would advise people to let the dog go – a dog can look after itself.”

The spokesperson also advised walkers to be aware of how they can get off a field quickly if needed – and to think about taking a stick on a walk.

The NFU spokesperson said: “There can be situations where farmers do need to take action if their animals are aggressive. But if they have always been calm and peaceful animals then there is no reason why they can’t be in the field.”