‘Heartbroken’ Highland cows owner must sell or slaughter his herd

‘Heartbroken’ Highland cows owner must sell or slaughter his herd

‘Heartbroken’ owner of Highland cows must sell or slaughter his herd of 27 after a dog walker feared for his safety

  • Cow farmer, Alex Birch, 32, said: ‘It’s heartbreaking – we’ve had to remove them’ 
  • Decision comes after a dog walker complained a cow ‘pinned him against a wall’
  • According to one local the cows were famous in Baslow Edge, Derbyshire
  • More than 7,300 people have signed a petition to try and save the herd 

For decades, a farming family’s herd of long-horned highland cattle have been a Peak District tourist attraction.

The ‘gentle’ beasts had roamed Baslow Edge in Derbyshire since being introduced by the family and were admired by photographers and ramblers alike.

But now farmer Alex Birch has been forced to sell or slaughter the herd of 27 after a dog owner complained he felt threatened by one of the animals.

Farmer Alex Birch, 32, has been forced to sell or slaughter the herd of 27 after a dog owner complained a cow ‘pinned him against a wall’ in Baslow Edge, Derbyshire. His grandfather (left) ‘is deeply, deeply upset’ because he bought the cows 40 years ago

Mr Birch said: ‘It’s heartbreaking – we’ve had to remove them. Anyone who knows about these cattle will know that, if you get in that close, it’s going to hurt you’

Mr Birch said: ‘It’s heartbreaking – we’ve had to remove them.

‘My grandfather is deeply, deeply upset. He bought them originally 40 years ago when he was in his 30s.

‘He built them up from there and we’ve kept them all this time. Now it’s for nothing.’


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The 32-year-old said the dog owner made a complaint to the Health and Safety Executive after a cow ‘pinned him against a wall’.

He said: ‘They claimed the cow went for his dog and the dog went to the human who protected the dog. The cow never hurt anyone but just approached the man.

‘Anyone who knows about these cattle will know that, if you get in that close, it’s going to hurt you.’

Saddened by the loss of the herd, more than 7,300 people have now signed an online petition to try to save it

A photographer, known as Villager Jim, from nearby Foolow, said: ‘I took pictures of the cows all the time

Saddened by the loss of the herd, more than 7,300 people have now signed an online petition to try to save it.

A photographer, known as Villager Jim, from nearby Foolow, said: ‘I took pictures of the cows all the time.

‘They’re quite famous here. It’s ridiculous that it comes down to one complaint. They’re completely peaceful animals that everyone enjoys.’

But a spokesman for the HSE said: ‘We have investigated concerns raised in relation to cattle at Baslow.

‘We have worked with the owner of the cattle and the matter has been satisfactorily resolved. We will not be commenting further on this.’ 

Villager JIm added: ‘They’re quite famous here. It’s ridiculous that it comes down to one complaint. They’re completely peaceful animals that everyone enjoys’

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