Alpine Authorities Issue Pamphlet to Combat Deadly Cow Tramplings

MAINZ, Germany - A spate of deadly cow tramplings involving hikers in Europe’s Alpine mountains this summer has resulted in a pamphlet advising on how to deal with the temperamental animals. "Do not engage in direct eye contact with a cow," is one of the stern pieces of advice issued in the brochure, which is being handed out in Austria. Entitled "Grazing Pastures Are Not Petting Zoos," the pamphlet also says that "in an absolute emergency, a well-placed blow should be delivered to the cow’s nose."

Authorities wrote the comic-strip-style pamphlet in response to several deadly cow trampling incidents. One of the latest victims was a 45-year old German woman trampled to death in Austria’s Stubai valley. Josef Hechenberger, president of the chamber of agriculture in the Austrian state of Tyrol, told NBC News that tourist hikers "should not scare cows, they should not pet the animals and keep a good distance to the herd." He added that while hikers should be protected, it was vital for farmers to be able to graze their cows freely during certain times of year.

A farmer drives the cattle downhill from the Alps during the so-called Viehscheid drive on Sept. 11, near the village of Bad Hindelang, southern Germany. CHRISTOF STACHE / AFP - Getty Images
- Andy Eckardt