Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Mince Alors

Attack of the killer cows:

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon in August when Mr [Paul] Harris persuaded his daughter, Melissa, 13, and son Samuel, 14, out for the ride. As the children led the way, the group came across about 10 cows, believed to be a French breed, on the towpath. Mr Harris told his children to give them a wide berth as there were two calves.

"As I got close one of the calves got up and moved towards its mother," said Mr Harris. "I caught the cow's head in my peripheral vision as she hit me from behind and knocked me to the ground.

"I remember the cow trying to gore me, but luckily she had no horns. I shouted for help and shouted at the cow, but it was unrelenting.

"I tried to push the cow's head away, but kept having to move to a foetal position to try to protect myself. The cow then stepped on my ribs. The pain from that stopped me doing anything else to protect myself.

"I lay flat on my front thinking, 'This is it. If the cow continues I am dead. If it thinks I am dead and leaves me alone then I may survive.' "

Fortunately a walker, Leslie Spiro, 46, who was with his wife and two daughters, heard Mr Harris's shouts. He took off his rucksack and used it to force the cows away.

...."Looking back, I got close to the mother cow and she took offence," he said.

....A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said almost 1,000 people were injured in accidents involving cattle each year. "The injuries range from twisted ankles as people run away from charging bulls, to the occasional goring.

....In 1977 seven people were killed in incidents with cattle.

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