Dog attack causes pregnant Highland cow death

Gladis, a pregnant Highland cow and her unborn calf have sadly died in Dorset after a dog attack.

Highland cow with farmer - awareness for dog attack

Farmer, Cameron Farquharson with Gladis. Credit: Redlands Coppice.

Dorset farmer, Cameron Farquharson has urged all dog owners to keep their dogs on leads to avoid further unnecessary sadness and pain to animals and farming families after the suspected dog attack.

The incident happened at Eggardon Hill near Bridport on National Trust land Wednesday evening. The dogs had chased Gladis until she fell over a 30ft embankment to her death.

If the dog owners had reported the incident to the farmer or the National Trust at the time, they may have been able to save her and her unborn calf.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident and dog attack/worrying has become increasingly prevalent especially during the past year. Not only is it distressing for the farmers and their families, but it has detrimental financial implications for farmers.

The National Sheep Association (NSA) have published findings from its 2021 survey and the key findings are:

  • Estimated financial losses through incidents of sheep worrying of up to £50,000 were recorded, with an average across all respondents of £1570. However, most respondents received no or very little compensation.
  • On average, each respondent experienced seven cases of sheep worrying during the past year resulting in five sheep injured and two sheep killed per attack.
  • Farmers reported feelings of anxiety, anger, upset, stress and frustration due to sheep worrying by dogs attacks with more than half recognising this was adversely affecting their mental health.
  • 67% of respondents have witnessed an increase in attacks during the Covid-19 pandemic associated they believe with an increase in dog ownership and the general public spending more time walking in the countryside.
  • More than half of all respondents had experienced abuse or intimidation when personally asking dog owners to put their pet on a lead.
  • The urgent need for a review of legislation surrounding the issue is highlighted in the survey. 80% of respondents agreed that the rest of the UK should follow the recent change in Scottish law that sees stricter enforcement including fines of up to £40,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment acting as a stronger deterrent to dog owners responsible for allowing attacks to happen.

Redland Coppice Highland cow.

Speaking with Farmers Guide Dorset farmer, Cameron Farquharson said: “it is a very sad story. we have been overwhelmed by the support from people all over the world, who have been heartbroken by the sad images of Gladis.”

“We are creating a campaign in Gladis’ name to try and prevent this occurring again, and ensuring the public put their dogs on leads.”

“As a family, we have all greatly appreciated the time you have taken to write kind comments about our little hairy highland cow Gladis.”

To support the campaign visit and add your signature to the petition.

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