Couple lose legal case over claim their Highland cow was impregnated by neighbour's bull

A couple have been denied compensation over claims one of their pedigree Highland cows was impregnated by a neighbour’s escaped bull.

A Highland cow. Picture: PA/File
A Highland cow. Picture: PA/File
A Highland cow. Picture: PA/File

Bernard and Kathleen Allen, of Great Bernera, Isle of Lewis, had claimed the Belted Galloway bull was repeatedly found on land where they kept their livestock and demanded £20,000 compensation for the status of their herd being ‘compromised’.

However, their neighbours David and Janine Hargreaves denied they were at fault for the poor state of a boundary fence.

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Stornoway Sheriff Court in Lewis heard that Mr and Mrs Allen first became aware in 2009 that the Hargreaves' bull was among their cows.

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They claimed the bull was found among their herd about 30 times until 2010, and had "clashed" with a bull the Allens had hired.

And they said that in 2010 one of their pedigree Highland cows gave birth to a Belted Galloway-cross calf.

Sheriff David Sutherland said the "real nature of the claim was a neighbour dispute", adding that while he was in no doubt Mrs Allen was "extremely distressed" by the situation, "this does not excuse coming to court and presenting a case which is, at best, exaggerated and unreliable".

For unlimited access to Scotland’s best news, sport and expert analysis, SUBSCRIBE to The Scotsman website hereAnd he highlighted a previous ruling by the Scottish Land Court which suggested the Allens were responsible for a disputed boundary fence.

The sheriff said: "I accept the evidence of Mr and Mrs Hargreaves that while their cattle did go onto the crofts belonging to the pursuers, nonetheless that was only because of the state of repair of the fence which Mr Allen was responsible for."