Mum killed by cows after being trampled to death during a holiday dog walk

A mum was killed after she was trampled to death by a herd of cows while walking her dog.

Kathy McKellar was holidaying in a cottage near Grindleton, in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire when she took her cockapoo Archie for a stroll on the afternoon of September 25, 2022.

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Kathy and the pooch were walking near Pine Woods through a series of fields belonging to farmer David Towler, at the time of the incident.

John Turner, owner of the holiday let, found Archie – who had made his way back to the property without his owner.

Archie still had his lead attached to him, prompting concerns for Kathy's safety, so he phoned 999.

John then went out to search for the missing mum.

The following morning, David found Kathy's body in his field while he was checking on his cattle.

The field is home to 25 Limousin cows with calves and one bull, as reported by LancsLive.

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The publication added that Kathy was lying down with her arm under a wire fence at the other end of the field from where a public footpath passes through it.

Kathy, a former pupil of Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, was pronounced dead at the scene with detectives noting she had several injuries consistent with being trampled by cattle.

A post-mortem CT scan revealed she died from traumatic chest injuries including fractured vertebrae and ribs.

Speaking at an inquest held on Monday (February 6) at Accrington Town Hall, Kathy's son Andy described his mum as a "fiercely independent" woman who loved tennis, walking and baking.

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"She would go on this sort of holiday regularly, she did everything for herself, and she brought up my brother and I pretty much on her own," Andy said.

"She loved being outside and walking the dog; it was their happy place. Mum grew up in Clitheroe, that's where her family is from, but she moved to Macclesfield when she had me.

"We lost my nan two years ago from old age so mum liked to come back up here to feel more connected to her part of the world. Although she was 74 she was still working part-time."

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The farmer was asked if any of his cattle had ever shown signs of being scared of dogs. "We have two sheepdogs and we have sheep grazing with the cows so they're used to my dogs being around," he replied.

The inquest heard that there had been a previous incident involving a female walker suffering an injury when she disturbed some sleeping cows in one of his fields in 2018.

The inquest heard that, on average, there is one death a year in the UK relating to a member of the public being trampled by cattle.

During 2021 there were five fatalities but this was during the Covid lockdown when more people were going out for a walk.


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