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wicklore
2012-10-26 15:53:03
"" from wicklore Contract pics
Picture: (Contract pics)

Bullocks
The October MountainViews newsletter featured a link to a video showing bull running and people being injured. The title in the newsletter was why to avoid fields with bulls in them. The point of having the link in the newsletter was, I think, to highlight how potentially dangerous bulls can be to people.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of what I think is a cruel sport, which sees innocent animals tormented and disorientated for human pleasure before being killed in bull fighting later in the evening, Iím not sure of its relevance in the newsletter. Hikers donít have to watch a video of a load of bulls being driven mad as they slip and slide as their hooves scrabble inadequately for purchase on cobbled or paved streets to know that bulls are dangerous and may hurt or kill you. Iíd be worried if somebody had to see this video to say Ďah ha Ė Iíd better be careful of bullsí. In fact I think people who learn about bulls from watching bull running videos would get the wrong idea that bulls are clumsy and awkward. Meeting a bull in a field is a totally different experience and the unwary hiker who watched too many bull running videos could be pitifully unprepared and possibly killed. Having a link on the MV newsletter about bull running is as useful as having links to moose, bear or reindeer attacks on hikers Ė possibly interesting but hardly something for hikers in Ireland to learn from:

Bear kills hiker:

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/25/us/alaska-bear-attack/index.html?eref=edition

Reindeer attacks hiker:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/8182431/Hill-walker-endured-a-two-hour-attack-by-a-reindeer.html

Mountain Goat kills hiker:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11562054

Thankfully the average hiker in Ireland wonít meet or be killed by a bull as they are carefully controlled. Choosing to enter someoneís farmland brings the risk of meeting any number of dangers, including working dogs, bulls, calving cows etc.

I think what would be more useful would be discussion relevant to Ireland about what are the real and everyday dangers we face from wildlife. Iíve often heard that badgers are the most dangerous to walkers but I disagree. Who ever met a badger while hiking? And of those, how many were attacked? Even the rare Irish bull is more likely to be encountered! I would suggest the wasp or bumble bee, deer tick or mosquitos are the real everyday menaces Ė and even their menace is relatively slight. Cows in calving season are also potentially dangerous. But really, taking everything into account, we have it easy in Ireland from the dangers-of-fauna point of view. Which is why I disagree with links to videos of bull running.
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