. . .The council said it was natural instinct for a mother cow to protect its calf and advised anyone on council property with stock to be “extra careful” during calving season.
But it had the cow and calf culled in response to the incident, saying the cow had acted in an overly protective way against the walkers which came near it. . .
Anyone familiar with cattle knows the danger of getting between cows and their offspring.
However, the cattle in question weren’t on a farm where people would be expected to know to be wary. They were in an urban park, open to the public, and advice from the council after the attack to be extra careful seems more than a little inadequate for health and safety requirements.
Any farmers conscious of their responsibilities would not usually allow visitors in the same paddock as cows with calves.
Unrestricted access to a paddock with stock poses animal health and welfare, biosecurity and human safety risks at any time. The risks to stock and people increase when cows have calves.
This is one of the reasons farmers are so adamantly opposed to giving up property rights and allowing any right to roam.
Where, and what, was the council’s health and safety plan and how, in this often over-protective age, has the council got away with not separating the cattle from the jogging and biking track with at least a hot wire?