An eight foot high fence - dubbed Jurassic Park - was installed on a croft after
a marauding rival bull caused chaos caused to a Highland cattle breeding programme
in Great Bernera, Lewis.
Kathleen Allen and her husband Bernard are suing their former neighbours David and
Janine Hargreaves for about £20,000 maintaining their straying bull allegedly impregnated
one of their cows.
One of her prized heifers gave birth to a Belted Galloway calf in 2010 the hearing
at Stornoway Sheriff Court heard.
The “unwanted impregnation” compromised the premium heath status of Mrs Allen’s herd.
Advocate Stewart Buchanan, representing the Hargreaves quizzed her about her own
cattle straying off the croft.
“My cattle never left the croft at any time whatsoever.
Mr Buchanan asked: “So its all one-way traffic.”
Mrs Allen said that was “certainly correct.”
Mr Buchanan insisted: “That’s a lie as afar as the Hargreaves as concerned.”
“No its not. It is the truth, “retorted Mrs Allen
A normal stock fence was no match to the intruding Galloway bull and she told the
court spent nearly £10,000 on building an eight foot high barrier “to stop their
cattle from coming onto my croft.”
Should she have built the “Wall of China to keep them out” she asked
But before high barrier was completed her herd was temporarily moved to the safety
of the nearby village of Hacklete to be served by a hired Highland bull was ready
His ear tag identified him as 007 but he had to leave before the cows came on heat
as the fences there were not “secure.”
“Couldn’t you have explained to the Hargreaves I’ve got 007 coming but he’s only
shooting blanks” and continue the breeding attempt back on her own croft with co-operation
of her neighbours, suggested Mr Buchanan.
Mrs Allen said there was “no discussion” with her neighbours and she had not communicated
with them for years.
The advocate suggested Mrs Allen’s stance was “entirely a matter of fiction.”
Mrs Allen told Stewart Buchanan: “I had no knowledge my cow was served until after
the calf was born.”
Then the cow was “isolated from the rest of the herd.”
She said when there was an invasion on my croft my cattle would be rounded up and
“They had to stay there until the other cattle were removed.
She denied a suggestion from the advocate she breached the Cattle Health Certification
Standards (CHeCS) scheme rules.
“I took every care the animals were kept under the scheme rules,” she added.
“I had no control over invading animals.
“My duty is to keep the animals separate and to them blooded tested again before
they have contact with another animal in the scheme.”
Mrs Allen said: “My duty is to ensure they are not contaminated.
“If there is nose to nose contact I have to contact CHeCS
Stewart Buchanan queried how many times did she tell the accreditation scheme about
other cattle straying.
“None at all because I took action.“
The Hargreaves deny their bull sired the Allen’s calf and demand proof he is the
They say they erected an electric fence to keep their bull at home but it was vandalised
The Hargreaves also say an unknown person kept moving their livestock onto the Allen’s
land without their knowledge by opening their gate and herding their cattle next
In any case the incident did not affect the Allen’s herd health accreditation and
they claim their neighbours operated outwith the scheme’s rules by not having a suitable
buffer zone to prevent animals coming into contact.
The hearing presided by Sheriff David Sutherland continues.