Staying safe in the countryside
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Last year the APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) Injury Prevention Day concentrated on ensuring families enjoying the countryside over the summer had information on how to stay safe in fields of cows and calves. This is however something important to be aware of throughout the year for anyone who lives near farmland or walks near fields containing cattle.
I know only too well the dangers as I myself have had a bit of a close encounter with a herd of cows whilst walking my dog in a field a number of years ago. They move quickly and can swiftly pen you in - which can be quite scary I can assure you.
The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 deals with the issue and bans dairy bulls from being at large in fields crossed by public rights of way. But, farmers are free to keep cows in fields with public footpaths and they are liable for any harm or damages caused.
The purpose of bringing this issue to light at the injury prevention day was to help people take responsibility for their own safety. On average five workers and members of the public are killed in incidents involving cattle each year. People may be unaware that cows can be very protective with their young and have been known to attack so it's extremely important for people to consider their safety when around these animals.
These statistics have been taken from the Health and Safety Executive and whilst they are unable to give figures for the number of injuries caused by cattle the level are apparently "likely to be significant".
Injury prevention day was supported by local radio and newspapers and social media and by organisations such as the HSE and the Ramblers. It was introduced by APIL because too many people are needlessly injured because others did not take, or could not be bothered to take, proper care. It's time for this to change - so let's remember to support Injury prevention day (which by the way occurs on the third Wednesday of August 2017) to help get people thinking about their safety.
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