The 45-year-old woman from Rheinland-Pfalz was attacked by a herd of 20 cows and calves on an alpine pasture in Tyrol's Stubaital valley and was fatally injured.
Police said the woman was inside the fenced area with her dog on a footpath, when several of the animals became agitated and charged her. She was resuscitated but later succumbed to her injuries.
Police said the cows reacted to the woman’s dog, who was on the leash, and according to a witness was not behaving in an aggressive manner towards the cows.
There was an initial suspicion of involuntary manslaughter after the incident. Autopsy results revealed that the woman was trampled to death.
Tyrol’s Chamber of Agriculture is working on a code of conduct for hikers, including how best to avoid conflicts with grazing animals, which will be distributed as part of an illustrated information folder.
There have been several other cow attacks on walkers in Tyrol since the woman’s death.