Off-Topic > General Discussion


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which way:
Thank you all for your advice. I think what you are saying makes sense and fully go along with the dog advice . However, I can never remember having any concerns about cattle until recent times. The strange thing is, when I speak to people around my age about this subject,  they tend to agree?

Lost Soul:
Now I recall someone saying its to do with the law.  There are laws about dangerous cattle breads, footpaths and public protection.  The law specifies affected breads that must not be kept on land legally accessed by the general public.  Breads specified were those resident in the UK at the time the law was passed.  However, farmers seem to be importing breeds that are problematic in respect of public safety, and as they are not specifically referenced in the appropriate legislation then they are by default exempt.

A quirk of UK law.  Same problem as trying to control legal highs.

If you don't specify what ever is the problem then its not illegal.

The law needs to be written in generic terms viz Cattle shall not be kept in areas legally accessed by the general public unless they have been certified by the HSE as being docile and safe when in the proximity of other life forms.  You get the gist.

Hugh Westacott:
I believe that the law in England and Wales is reasonably straightforward. Here are two extracts from The Walker's Handbook based on information derived from Rights of Way; a guide to law and practice by Riddall & Trevelyan which is the standard work on the law as it applies to England and Wales:

40   Beef- breed bulls, providing that are accompanied by cows or heifers, may be pastured in fields crossed by public paths. It is illegal to pasture bulls of recognized dairy breeds that are more than ten months old in fields crossed by public paths. (Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 section 59.) Dairy breeds include
•   Ayrshire
•   British Friesian
•   British Holstein
•   Dairy Shorthorn
•   Guernsey
•   Jersey 
•   Kerry 

Note that all dairy breeds are prohibited with the most popular breeds listed. This should take care of other dairy breeds introduced into the UK.

41   It is illegal to have an animal known to be dangerous (including beef breed bulls) in fields crossed by public paths. (Animals Act 1971 section 59, Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 section 3.)

67   The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984 was amended so that occupiers of access land owe no duty of care to the public except by reckless behaviour. Thus walkers would not normally be able to claim against the occupier should they be injured.

For a preview of the 5th edition of my book The Walker’s Handbook; Everything you Need to Know about Walking in the British Isles click on Then click on ‘Reviews of The Walker’s Handbook' in the Navigation panel to the right of the illustration of the cover.


Lost Soul:
Thanks for the clarifications Hugh.


which way:
Thanks Hugh,  That's more like it. A loophole in our sometimes ridiculous laws.
As well as a need for our maps,  compasses,  do we need to carry with us cattle prods for our safety and enjoyment of the countryside?


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