Grazing pastures are not petting zoos!
Your guide to correct behaviour when encountering grazing animals
Hikers are recommended to exercise caution when encountering grazing animals. In order to avoid potentially dangerous situations, certain guidelines should be followed and one should be aware of common behavioural patterns of grazing animals.
RECOMMENDATIONS on how best to avoid conflicts:
- Unless it cannot be avoided, try not to get too close to grazing cattle. In particular, do not feed nor stroke young calves! Animals may feel irritated by hikers and misinterpret their actions, resulting in them feeling threatened.
- If a herd seems restless or becomes ﬁ xated on a hiker; keep your distance! In this situation, consider making a detour!
- Keep your dog on a leash and make sure it doesn’t get too close to the herd or try to chase them. Dogs are considered to be potential enemies, especially for young animals, and are therefore often attacked by dams. Take your dog off the lead if it seems a cow is going to attack it. Unlike humans, dogs can run fast enough to evade confrontation. This will also divert the cow’s attention from the dog owner, so he or she can leave the danger zone.
- If a dangerous situation nevertheless arises: Keep calm and do not run away! Only in an absolute emergency should you attempt to deliver a well aimed blow with your hiking pole to the cow’s nose. Otherwise, you should slowly and steadily leave the danger zone, without turning your back on the animals. This is the only correct way to behave in the event of a dangerous encounter.
Here you will find a guidebook for the correct behavior in encounters with grazing animals.