A FARMER’S wife has made a plea to walkers with dogs if confronted by a herd of cows with calves at foot to let their dogs off the lead and not put their own lives at risk.

The call follows news an 82-year-old man was killed by cows which had calves with them, while walking with his wife, 78, and two dogs at Ivescar, Ingleton, on Saturday afternoon.

The couple, from Foulridge, in Pendle, were attacked at around 1.45pm.

The man died at the scene while the woman who was badly bruised and shaken was air lifted to Lancaster Royal Infirmary.

Diane Handley, from Ingleton, said on a Facebook soon after the tragedy: “This is a huge plea to any dog walkers walking through fields which have cattle grazing in.

“My husband has just witnessed a man die in front of him. Whilst the paramedics where trying to revive him.

This poor man ( may he rest in peace) and his wife were walking through a neighbour’s field when the cattle, whilst trying to protect their young calves, went for the couple’s dogs.

“One dog escaped and the other was attacked with the couple trying to rescue their dog. The poor man got caught up in this and sustained injuries which led to his death shortly after.

“My husband and brother-in-law took the two dogs to the local vets. One was injured, which we hope is going to pull through. The other dog is fine.

“So the reason for my post is really to warn dog walkers walking through any field not only in the Yorkshire Dales but anywhere to please, if you are unfortunate to be in a situation like this poor couple, to just let your dogs go. It’s really not worth getting yourselves injured or worse.”

She added: “The National parks don’t help. My husband - a farmer - always has told the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority that we should be allowed to put signs on gates/fences approaching any fields which have cattle grazing in them ( usually from May - Oct in the Dales), but they don’t like the idea of this as it’s saying there is dangerous livestock in the field.

“This isn’t the case, but occasionally all it takes is for one cow to see a dog as a threat to their calves so they will try to attack the dog .

“The signs should be there just to warn dog walkers that there are cattle grazing.

“Sometimes cows can’t be seen on approaching fields but may be in a dip or over the brow of a hill.”

However, the national park said there was some misunderstanding and that it would be happy for warning signs to be put up.

Alan Hulme, head of park management said: “The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority does not provide signs to farmers regarding cattle or bulls, but it has no objection to farmers erecting their own signs.

“Such signs on gates or by stiles that do not deter public access are common in the national park.”

Mrs Handley concluded by reiterating her plea: “Although it’s not a natural instinct and difficult to do, if cattle are getting uneasy, noisy, look like they may charge and are getting closer, just let go of the lead and let the dog go (they should be on leads anyway). Do not try to rescue the dog. It’s really not worth risking your life.”