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Elderly farmer trampled to death by cow

The Local · 4 Aug 2015, 15:42

Published: 04 Aug 2015 15:42 GMT+02:00

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The woman, whose name has not been released, was a farmer in St. Gertraud im Lavanttal in the district of Wolfsberg.

It is believed she was attacked by the cow as she attempted to herd it in for the night. She was found at around 8pm on Monday night.

This is not the first incident of its kind in Austria: in July it was reported that a 76-year-old female farmer was impaled in the face by a cow in St Stefan ob Stainz in Styria.

The woman suffered severe head injuries and bruises, but miraculously survived the attack. The cow dragged the woman for a few metres by its horns, before she managed to escape back to the safety of her nearby home and was airlifted to a hospital in Graz.

Last year, a 45-year-old German hiker was killed in Tyrol when a herd of around 20 cows attacked her and her dog.

In a separate incident, a woman took legal action after being attacked by a cow near Vienna when walking with her husband and dogs in 2010. Her case was recently rebuffed by the Supreme Court, which ruled that there were sufficient signs in the area warning of the dangers of approaching cows when accompanied by dogs.

It recognised the fact that cow attacks can be potentially deadly, but concluded that signs in the area with the message: “Warning, mother cows! Pass through with dogs at your own risk” were sufficient to warn dog-walkers of the dangers.

Last week, a 77-year-old German tourist was trampled to death by cows in the Swiss Alps.

Generally speaking, cows are even-tempered, mild creatures. Attacks by cows are rare but do occur, especially when the herd contains calves. Dogs are seen as a particular threat to calves, which is why attacks on dog-walkers are more frequent.

Hikers are advised to keep dogs on leads, keep a good distance from cows, and not to turn their backs on them.

If you find yourself in a field of cattle who appear to be suddenly unsettled, you should move away as quietly and quickly as possible. A cow typically displays threatening behaviour when it lowers and lifts its head at you, and begins to snort and paw the ground.

If a cow starts to charge you and your dog, immediately let go of the dog's leash as your pet can outrun a cow. Dog owners are normally only attacked when the dog tries to hide behind them.

By Claire Caruth.

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