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New Forest cattle clashes with public reduced thanks to safety campaign, say verderers



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CLASHES between cattle and the public in the New Forest were significantly reduced last year by a safety campaign, the verderers have said.

Messaging in partnership with the Commoners’ Defence Association included calling on owners to dehorn some breeds.

At a meeting of the Verderers’ Court, Official Verderer Lord Manners said: “We are able to report that last year the number of incidents reported to the verderers between cows and members of the public using the Forest was much reduced.”

Official Verderer Lord Manners
Official Verderer Lord Manners

However, he said that commoners should continue to follow advice and think carefully about when and where to depasture cows with young calves.

Acknowledging that the spring weather could “tempt” commoners to turn cattle out on to the Forest, Lord Manners continued: “We would like to remind all cattle owners that there is very limited feed on the Forest at the moment, not helped by the dry conditions and still cold nights.

Animals turned out too early are at risk of losing weight, the verderers have said (stock photo)
Animals turned out too early are at risk of losing weight, the verderers have said (stock photo)

“The Forest is always the last place where the spring grass grows.”

The court heard that animals turned out too early were at risk of losing weight and testing boundary fences in the pursuit of food.

Lord Manners commented: “In this case the grass will always be greener on the other side of the fence.”



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