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Pictures: motorists urged to slow down as cows are back on commons

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Motorists are being urged to slow down as cattle returned to grazing on Minchinhampton, Rodborough and Selsley Commons today, Monday. 

Rain mist and cattle greeted drivers on Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons on May Marking Day, including Highland breeds. Signs warning drivers were also on clear display, and more cattle will follow shortly. Commons Hayward Mark Dawkins said: “Take care, change your mindset when driving on the commons. Cattle don’t have human intelligence, they will step out in front of moving vehicles without regard, a fact many drivers are not prepared for, so please slow down.

“Honking your horn may have the opposite of the intended effect and scare them as will trying to herd them. Be gentle, calm and patient – they will move on.”

Mark said in the last ten years 40 to 50 cattle have been killed or fatally injured on the commons. Discussions are underway about ways to slow down traffic.

Residents are being urged to observe speed limits across the commons, avoid distressing animals by observing them only from a safe distance, practising responsible dog ownership by not allowing dogs to bother livestock or wash in animal troughs.

Traditionally, May 13th is Marking Day when the cows are brought from the overwintering fields and sheds and released back onto the commons to roam and graze. The annual event sees each cow tagged – or marked – for identification before being released.

Pictures by Simon Pizzey and Deborah Escamilla

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