‘Loopy’ cows shot dead after a 24-hour rampage

Farmer Mark Wadsworth from Overton.
Farmer Mark Wadsworth from Overton.
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A FARMER had to shoot eight cows when they went on the rampage after being ‘spooked’ by joggers.

Mark Wadsworth said he had to destroy the eight cattle for public safety reasons.

He is urging people to stick to footpaths in the countryside after the incident at Birkdale Farm, at Overton, Wakefield.

His herd of cows went “loopy” after they were spooked by joggers on Tuesday July 10.

The scare from the joggers – who were running around 500 metres from the path – led the cattle to run riot for over 24 hours, crashing through a barbed wire fence.

Mr Wadsworth, 45, said: “We tried for a day and a half to calm them down but we’ve had no option but to shoot them. I’m now cow-less.”

The farmer said his neighbour saw more than 10 runners off-track, but believes they meant no intentional harm.

He said: “I don’t think they realise the damage they do.”

The cows had been on the cattle field next to the National Coal Mining Museum, which has public footpaths running across it.

The incident has left Mr Wadsworth £5,600 out of pocket. He said: “We don’t like to see animals destroyed before they have to be. We breed cattle for meat obviously but most farmers don’t like to see animals injured.”

Mr Wadworth’s neighbour, farmer Chris Codd, said the cows were unsettled once the runners had passed.

He added: “They’d gone proper loopy, they’d lost the plot. I have a problem with joggers because there’s no speed limit for running. They need to be careful, it just shows what an incident they can create.”

Last Sunday morning a 30-plus group cows went on the rampage and trampled across residents’ gardens in a Harrogate cul-de-sac.

The wandered around the cul-de-sac for five minutes before heading back from their early morning walk to their field around a mile away.

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