Reports of dog walkers being chased and trampled by cows have prompted Wiltshire Police to issue advice on what to do.

PC Emily Thomas of the Rural Crime Team said: “Most members of the public who were involved in incidents with cattle were on footpaths and usually had a dog with them. Frequently there were calves involved and the cows were protecting them.

"Although we advise to keep dogs on a lead when there is livestock around it is best to release your dog if it is being threatened by cows.

"Cattle are most likely to chase the dog rather than the owner.”

According to the Health and Safety Executive in the decade between 2000 and 2021 cattle killed 98 people in the UK - 22 were members of the public and the rest were farm workers.

The National Farmers Union says cattle are inquisitive and will follow walkers, but cows are protective of their young. Walkers should not get between cows and their calves and should take a wide detour and avoid walking through cattle if they are on the path.

They shouldn't panic if followed but if they feel threatened they should release their dog, which can usually run faster than cows, and walk to safety.