Between the years 1993 and 2015, cattle murdered 13 individuals who were out for strolls in the UK. Many more individuals had their bones broken or acquired different injuries from cattle.
According to veterinarian Angharad Fraser-Williams and other researchers at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, murderous cattle are an understudied occurrence. The team searched through scientific writing and news articles to find out about cattle attacks over the past 20 years.
To discover how regularly experiences of herds of grazing cattle turning dangerous occured, the team of researchers scoured through scientific literature for papers including the terms “bovine” or “cow” plus the terms “injury” or “attack.” After the team narrowed down the results to papers about attacks on only humans, they were left with only eight occurrences.
Slaughterhouse workers, vets and dairy and beef farmers are exposed to the most injuries caused by cattle. Nearly all the occurring damages are broken bones from being kicked, but additional deaths occurred from being trampled or just accidentally walked on by the large cattle. A study in America researched attacks by bulls, instead of cows. Over 28 years, the authors discovered 149 fatal incidents.
Among strollers on farmland in Britain, the University of Liverpool researchers discovered reports of 54 cattle attacks over 20 years. Of these cattle attacks, 13 had fatal outcomes. 2009 was the most lethal year, which had 4 deaths and 13 attacks that took place.
The research through the scientific writings and news articles revealed some reasons cattle might attack. One reason is maternal behavior. Heifers (mother cows) see humans as a danger to their offspring, and they may attack to protect their offspring if an individual gets too close.
Cattle are especially careful when dogs are close-by. About 66 percent of the cattle attacks involved dogs. In at least two cases, individuals were murdered while trying to protect their dogs, which had scared the cattle.
The authors claim that more research would assist in uncovering the reasons behind these fatal attacks, including their rate of occurrence. Additionally, it would be useful to have a single database in which individuals could report cattle attacks.