Dog walker nearly dies when she is trampled on by cows

Dog walker nearly dies when she is trampled on by cows and only survives after her husband steps in to fight them off

  • Margaret Donlon, 67, only survived because her husband Martin stepped in  
  • She was left with six broken ribs, liver damage, collapsed lung and bad bruising 
  • Mrs Donlon says she doesn’t ‘blame the cows’ which were new mothers 
  • The attack took place near West Burton in the Yorkshire Dales last month  

A retired midwife was left with six fractured ribs and a bruise in the shape of a hoof after she was almost killed when cows trampled on her during a dog walk. 

Margaret Donlon, 67, only survived the ordeal because her husband Martin, 68, stepped in to fight the ‘frenzied’ cows away from his wife in the Yorkshire Dales near West Burton. 

She was left with six broken ribs, a laceration to her liver, a collapsed lung and bad bruising and had to be airlifted to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, where she stayed for five days after last month’s attack. 

But Mrs Donlon says she doesn’t ‘blame the cows’ which were new mothers with young calves. 

Margaret Donlon (pictured with her husband), 67, only survived the ordeal because her husband Martin, 68, stepped in to fight the ‘frenzied’ cows away from his wife in the Yorkshire Dales near West Burton

Although Martin was also headbutted to the ground by the animals he managed to get up and get his wife to safety.  

Mrs Donlon told The Mirror: ‘They would have killed me, I know they would have killed me, if he had had not been there.

The couple had been walking Barney, their seven-year-old Cocker Spaniel, when they came across a field with a cows. 

Mrs Donlon said: ‘We had gone about 50 yards and this cow came up to me and I was trying to shoo it away…

‘The next thing I knew I had been head butted to the floor. I had these two cows pounding their hooves into my side.

‘My husband was also head-butted to the floor but he managed to get up and he was fighting and punching and shouting at these two cows.’


Mrs Donlon (left) was left with six broken ribs, a laceration to her liver, a collapsed lung and bad bruising and had to be airlifted to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, where she stayed for five days after last month’s attack

Ex-GP Ruth Livingstone, from Manchester, runs a website called ‘Killer Cows’ and records incidents with cows involving walkers. 

She says that in the past five years she has received 430 reports of people encountering angry cows.  

She claims that in 57 per cent of cases no-one is hurt but 23 per cent result in minor injury and another 10 per cent are serious. 

Dr Livingstone told the Mirror: ‘We would like to see compulsory public liability insurance for all farmers so that when people are injured, they can sue. We would also like there to be a central data base to record all incidents of cattle attacks.’

According to the Health and Safety Executive, 22 people were killed by cattle between 2015-2020. 

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