A FARMER who was left cow-less when he was forced to destroy eight of his cattle is urging people to stick to public footpaths.
Mark Wadsworth said his herd of cows went “loopy” after they were spooked by joggers last Tuesday.
The owner of Birkdale Farm, which is off Wood Lane in Overton, made the difficult decision to shoot the livestock in the interests of safety last week.
The scare from the joggers – who were running as much as 500 metres from the path – led the cattle to run riot for over 24 hours, crashing through a barbed wire fence.
Mr Wadsworth, 45, said: “We tried for a day and a half to calm them down but we’ve had no option but to shoot them. I’m now cow-less.”
The farmer said his neighbour saw more than 10 runners off - track, but believes they meant no intentional harm.
He said: “I just don’t think they realise the type of damage they do.”
The cows had been on the cattle field next to the National Coal Mining museum, which has public footpaths running across it.
The incident has left Mr Wadsworth £5,600 out of pocket, as they would not have been ready for to sell for meat until January.
Mr Wadsworth said: “We don’t like to see animals destroyed before they have to be. We breed cattle for meat obviously but most farmers don’t like to see animals injured.”
Mr Wadworth’s neighbour, farmer Chris Codd, said the cows were unsettled once the runners had passed.
He added: “They’d gone proper loopy, they’d lost the plot. I have a problem with joggers because there’s no speed limit for running. They need to be careful, it just shows what an incident they can create.”