Auckland animal grazing reviewed after two people hurt by cattle

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Auckland Council will review farming and grazing on public reserves after two passers-by were hurt by grazing cattle.

The council has released a report into the August incident when a man was injured going to the aid of a woman being attacked by cows in Totara Park in south Auckland.

The report describes the woman passing a yearling calf and cow, before being pushed to the ground and screaming.

The man who came to help waved a stick and hit one cow.

He was trampled and suffered broken ribs, cuts and bruises.

Mr Bowater believed this was an isolated incident and said the woman had ended up in a “pinch point” in the park where there was a bunch of cows.

“We believe the cattle probably became a little bit protective as the member of the public came into that zone,” he said.

The council report has 11 recommendations, including reviewing health and safety risks, whether dogs should be allowed off their leash, signage and ensuring compliance with farming licences.

It is working with the grazier on management of the current and future livestock run on the park, head of park services Mark Bowater said.

“Providing grazing opportunities and having livestock on parkland is a fundamental part of the urban farm park experience, offering visitors a chance to see how farms are run and recreate in a farm setting,” Mr Bowater said.

“Grazing also offers an income [grazing licences or sale of council-owned stock]and is a land management tool,” he said.

“We are working with the grazier on management of the current and future livestock run on the park.

“While the breeds, who are known for having better temperament around people and dogs will remain the same, we are working towards younger and smaller stock, particularly during the winter months.

“This contributes to better environmental land management outcomes as well as minimising the risk of incidents like this occurring again.”

Mr Bowater said the council would also look at separating young calves from the public.

The farmer, who has leased the land for 19 years, said at the time of the incident that he and the council decided to send the heifer and her eight-month old vealer calf to the slaughterhouse after the attack.

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