A cow on a meadow, right of the cow two hikers.

“Dog and Cow” like “Cat and Mouse”

In recent years, some tragic accidents have occurred in Tyrol and other regions in encounters of hikers and grazing animals.
The animals are not fundamentally aggressive but want to be left in peace. Therefore, it is advisable to keep a distance and not to seek contact. Do not take selfies with the animals or pet them!

In almost all cases, accidents were triggered by the following situation:
Mother cows wanted to protect their calves from dogs.


Accidents with hikers or cyclists without a dog are even rarer. Nevertheless, recreational athletes without four-legged companions should be careful on the pastures, as well!

Schräge
Übergang von hellorange auf weiß

Natural instincts

So-called cow attacks may occur as a result of the protective instinct of mother cows. The fear of the wolf as a natural enemy is still present in grazing cattle. The similarity between wolves and dogs - regardless of breed and size - sometimes triggers violent reactions in mother cows.

Two hikers walking past a cow. In the background mountains.
Two hikers walking past a cow. In the background mountains.

Herds with mother cows

Cattle herds can be distinguished by their composition. When cows are grazing on the pasture together with their calves, we speak of herds with mother cows.
The protective instincts of the mother cows are particularly strong.

Hikers walking nearby three cows. in the background a river and mountain landscape.
Hikers walking nearby three cows. in the background a river and mountain landscape.

Appropriate measures

Anyone entering an alpine pasture can contribute to a secure coexistence with grazing cattle. By visiting this website, you have already taken the first important step!
Within the framework of a working group, all stakeholders have called for a package of measures to prevent such accidents in the future as far as possible, including the development of codes of conduct and suitable signposting. The latter is intended to prevent direct encounters between herds with mother cows and dogs. This important contribution to safety is achieved by signposted alternative routes in those areas of the pasture where the herd is most likely to be.

Collage of three sign of the grazing lifestock guidance system. All signsare square and show icons for mouthercows, livestock and a hiker with a dog.
Collage of three sign of the grazing lifestock guidance system. All signsare square and show icons for mouthercows, livestock and a hiker with a dog.
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