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Cows from St Ouen’s last dairy herd ‘injured by car’

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A MOTORIST is due to appear at a parish hall inquiry following an incident in which he allegedly hit and injured two Jersey cows from the last dairy herd in St Ouen.

Peter Houguez, the last dairy farmer in St Ouen, with two of his ten cows

Mel and Misty were being led back to Goodlands Farm on the edge of St Ouen’s Village by farmer Peter Houguez alongside another cow called Louise when the accident is alleged to have occurred in a lane between Route de Vinchelez and Route des Marais (Hydrangea Avenue) at 7.20 pm last Wednesday.

St Ouen Chef de Police Bernie Connor said it was claimed that the male driver’s Fiat car had hit the two cows, causing bruising, cuts and grazes.

He said: ‘We are following up the investigations and once we have taken statements from the people involved and witnesses and gathered them together there will be a parish hall inquiry.’

Mr Houguez runs one of the Island’s smallest dairy herds, with ten milking cows. He is a familiar sight in Hydrangea Avenue, leading his cows between the farm and the fields where they graze.

He says he was greatly relieved that the cows were not seriously injured, as with so few animals to look after he was very fond of them.

‘We had to have the vet out and Mel needed to have her front left leg sewn up,’ he said. ‘I am pleased that nothing too nasty or serious happened to them because you don’t want to lose one of your cows.’

Mr Connor said neither Mr Houguez nor the driver was injured. The third cow, Louise, was also not hurt.

Mr Houguez has been farming for more than 40 years and says that in the early days there were up to 14 dairy herds in the parish. He became the sole dairy farmer in St Ouen when former Constable Ken Vibert retired from the industry.

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Mr Houguez is also one of just two dairy farmers who work in the traditional way of tethering livestock in the fields and also retaining the cattle’s horns.

The other, Richard Smith, farms in rural St Helier in Grande Route du Mont à l’Abbé.

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Paula Thelwell

By Paula Thelwell
author

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