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Killer Cows in the US

04 August 2009

US - The image of cows as placid, gentle creatures is a city slicker’s fantasy, judging from an article published on Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reports that about 20 people a year are killed by cows in the United States.

In some cases, the cows actually attack humans—ramming them, knocking them down, goring them, trampling them and kicking them in the head—resulting in fatal injuries to the head and chest, writes James Estrin for the The New York Times.

Mother cows, like other animals, can be fiercely protective of their young, and dairy bulls, the report notes, are “especially possessive of their herd and occasionally disrupt feeding, cleaning, and milking routines.”

The article, in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, discusses 21 cases in which people were killed by cattle from 2003 to 2007 in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

In 16 cases, “the animal was deemed to have purposefully struck the victim,” the report states. In 5 other cases, people were crushed against walls or by gates shoved by the cattle. Ten of the attacks were by bulls, 6 by cows and 5 by “multiple cattle.” A third of the deaths were caused by animals that had been aggressive in the past.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

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