FARMERS have been issued with a dramatic warning to prevent livestock escapes after two dramatic developments in the past fortnight.
A Yorkshire farmer has been found liable for injuries to a motorcyclist who collided with a cow that had escaped because a walker had left a gate open – and in Lancashire, police marksmen were called out to shoot a bull that was causing chaos on the busy M55 motorway to Blackpool.
These two tragedies have caused the Country Land and Business Association to issue a stark warning to farmers that they and they alone stand responsible for any injuries to people caused by escaped livestock.
Says Sue Harrison, CLA's Deputy Regional Director in the North West: "To be held liable for accidental or malicious release of your stock may seem unfair but that is the law.
"This seems an appropriate time to urge farmers and horse owners to check their field security now, and to assess the likelihood of their animals escaping onto a road. If there is no right of way onto a field you should keep all gates locked and in good condition, and check that all roadside fences are stock-proof."