This is why there are water buffalo in the UK, and how to avoid an attack after man is killed in Wales

Wednesday, 6th May 2020, 12:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th May 2020, 4:15 pm
There are a variety of reasons why water buffalo are kept in the UK (Photo: Shutterstock)

A water buffalo attack has left one person dead and two injured in Wales, police have revealed.

But why are water buffalo being kept in the UK? This is everything you need to know.

What happened in the attack?

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A water buffalo attack has left two people with injuries and one 57-year-old man dead in Wales after an attack at a commercial property.

A statement from Gwent Police said: “We received a report of an incident at a commercial property in Gwehelog, Monmouthshire, at around 2.50pm on Tuesday, after two men and a woman were attacked by a water buffalo."

The 57-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 19-year-old man was critically injured and taken to hospital by air ambulance, and a woman, 22, suffered a serious leg injury and is being treated in hospital.

The buffalo that carried out the attack has been put down.

Why are there water buffalo in the UK?

Across the UK, many farms have diversified their livestock to include water buffalo.

There are a few reasons why farmers might want to keep water buffalo.

Their meat can be sold for consumption and their milk can be used for dairy products, such as mozzarella and ice cream. Water buffalo milk is very rich and therefore makes extremely creamy dairy products.

On The Buffalo Farm website, you can choose from a variety of different cuts of buffalo meat, including a taster box that includes: a buffalo steak burger, a prime buffalo steak, buffalo mince, buffalo stew and buffalo steak sausages.

In Wales, you will also find The Bufalina Soap Company, which uses the milk from a herd of Mediterranean water buffalo to make soap.

Where are water buffalo kept in the UK?

There are several locations across the UK that keep water buffalo.

Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire keeps a herd of over 500 water buffalo, stating that they are “tame, friendly and curious animals”.

The website also says that water buffalo milk is very rich and creamy and makes “beautiful cheese, ice-cream and milkshakes”.

The Bufalina Soap Company, found in Usk, Wales, keeps water buffalo to make soap.

The Buffalo Farm, in Kirkcaldy, Fife, is one of the original buffalo farms in Scotland, and as well as selling buffalo products, also sells livestock to other farms as well.

Langthornes Buffalo Farm Shop in North Yorkshire, also keeps water buffalo on their farm.

How can I avoid a water buffalo attack?

Water buffalo are not native to the UK, so you’re not going to find them outside of a farm.

Water buffalo actually originate in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and China.

To best avoid being attacked by a water buffalo, you should keep clear of any fields or farms where they are grazing.

The incident that killed the 57-year-old man took place on a farm in the area that keeps a herd of water buffalo.

Water buffalo body language is hard to understand, and generally the animals don’t display any changes in their behaviour before charging, so it’s best to keep away entirely.