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Equine Answers -Horse Supplements
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Equine Grass Sickness EXCLUSIVE

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The Governement should sycamore rider-friendly policy !

"Cattle are dangerous".

  • Cattle went from placid to aggressive in just one month
  • I was chased by the cattle and only escaped by jumping over a ditch
  • My worry is what might happen to other users of the Common

Says Val Rowland

Val RowlandWe are the latest victims of SWT here on Old Dean Common in Camberley, or as SWT incorrectly call it, Barossa Common, which makes me grind my teeth.

Without any proper consultation the Common was fenced off in April this year and the herd of 10 Belted Galloway were introduced, SWT did say that there wouldn't be any cows with calves or bulls. They were duly released on to the public access area of the Common in late June and put back into the fenced firing range of Sandhurst Military Academy one month later, this was due to local kids harassing them which I don't condone in any way.

However, SWT used the words placid in describing the cattle but during that one month the cattle went from being placid to aggressive and I was one of three people (that I am aware of, there my be others who haven't spoken aloud) who were chased by the cattle. I am a dog walker but my two German Pointers are extremely well behaved and trained to Caesar Millan's methods, at the time both were on the lead and sitting quietly besides me when they charged as I was waiting for the cattle to pass and I only made my escape by jumping over the ditch.

SWT like to infer that dogs are running around snapping at the cows heels but this just isn't the case, all the dog walkers I see have their dogs on leads whenever they spot the cattle. I used to ride horses for 26 years so can quite understand your fear at both being charged at by the cows and now having the difficult task of desensitising your horse to them. My worry is that one of the many other users of the Common who are not agile, I see a mother most mornings pushing a pram with a toddler also walking besides her and an old plodding dog as well as several elderly folk out enjoying the air who wouldn't stand a chance, it makes me shudder to thing about it. I did write to The Camberley News who published my comments in an article but SWT are only concerned about the welfare of the cattle and say it is the fault of the local kids and youth workers need to go into the schools and tell them to be nice to the cows, that should work then!

I have being doing some digging which is how I stumbled across your website, I have also written a letter to The Commandant of Sandhurst but still waiting for a reply, have had a response from Mike Goves researcher who very helpfully put me in touch with Peter Higgs who is Chairman of Chobham Common Society and he has been battling with SWT for many years and so far prevented them from fencing it in.

Incidentally, I took 114 photos of the Common a couple of weeks ago because this year the heather has been the best ever, all without the help of the cattle which I have pointed out to SWT!

photos of the Common

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