Cows officially the most deadly large animals in Britain

Farmers continue to be advised not to put calves and their mothers in fields accessible to the public

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The Independent Online

An agricultural committee is to keep the public and farm workers safe from cows after they were revealed to be the most dangerous large animals in Britain.

According to figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 74 people have been killed by cows in the past 15 years.

Dogs, meanwhile, have killed 17 people in the last eight years, according to NHS figures obtained by The Daily Telegraph.

The HSE has since re-issued long-standing advice to farmers not to put calves and their mothers in fields accessible to the public as a precaution.

"As 70% of these deaths involved either a bull or newly calved cow, activities with these stock should be carefully planned," it said.

"Where ever possible farmers should avoid keeping cows and calves in fields with public footpaths."

Walkers and farm workers who fall foul of the one-tonne animals are often crushed, butted or trampled to death, the review into cattle-related deaths found.

The majority of victims by far are farm workers, with 56 of the 74 deaths from this group, while mostly lone walkers who had dogs made up the remaining 18 who had been killed.

"Of the 18 members of the public, all were present on public footpaths or commonly used rights of way, all but one were accompanied by a dog and with exception of one man who had wandered away from a family group, all were lone walkers or accompanied by one other person."