PICTURES: Why Is Taking Selfies With Cows So Dangerous?

That cute Instagram photo is not worth a cow attack.

With more than 80 percent of suckler and dairy herds calving between February and April, organizations are hoping to get the word out about the dangers of antagonizing cows, particularly suckler cows.

England’s Health and Safety Executive urges farmers to avoid keeping cows and calves in fields with public footpaths to avoid injury to casual walkers who may inadvertently end up in harm’s way. They caution that walkers should be particularly cautious when with their dogs, as the presence of dogs greatly increases the likelihood of a cow attack.

As for those who purposefully get close to newborn calves for the sake of social media: “I just don’t understand [the selfie trend],” said Blackburn. He was concerned not just for the safety of the people in proximity to the cows, but also the cows themselves. “Why would people do anything like this that is going to obviously bother the cows or distress them? And for the sake of a picture on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook?”

While unsure of the motives, Blackburn cautioned, “I’m very sure about one thing and that is that you must be incredibly careful around a cow and a calf. Very serious injuries—or worse—can be inflicted in a few seconds where people are distracted and stop focusing on the reality of their situation.”

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