Rookie ramblers taking to the Perthshire countryside have been warned of the dangers of approaching livestock in calving and lambing season after a close call near Murthly.
People walking in the countryside have been asked to keep children and dogs close at all times during the spring.
Murthly Estate staff reported last week two young children running around a cattle feeding station at a farm had caught the attention of residents living in nearby cottages.
Management say the youngsters were in a dangerous situation and it would have taken just one protective mother cow to become anxious enough to charge at the children.
A warning was issued by the estate that an enraged one ton cow can seriously injure or kill a fully-grown man. Management labelled the potential consequences for children as “unthinkable.”
While they have no problem with people walking through the grounds, estate staff have urged visitors to resist the temptation to approach fences and gates to look at the calves and to ensure that their children don’t run or make loud noises near livestock.
Management also say dogs should be on leads if they are in fields with livestock, as otherwise they could be charged by cattle. A loose dog in a field can cause sheep and cows to miscarry due to stress.
A Facebook post stated: “In essence, for the public it’s all about understanding animal behaviour and respecting other people’s working spaces.
“In turn, we as an estate need to respect that the public have a right to responsible public access and accommodate it in a reasonable manner.”
Across Perthshire, ramblers making the most of their daily walks have also been urged to keep dogs on leads.
Almond and Earn councillor Henry Anderson reported at least one rescue hen being killed by a dog in Abernethy since lockdown measures were imposed.
The SNP representative said: “This warning applies to the whole of Perth and Kinross. It only takes one overprotective cow for something terrible to happen.
“While it’s good if everyone wants to visit our countryside, we need to know the dangers.
“We have had incidents in Abernethy of chickens being lost to dogs.
“Dogs shouldn’t be off the lead unless you are convinced that there won’t be any problems and they’ll come back.”