What animals kill the most humans in the UK?
PUBLISHED: 09:07 14 March 2012
Kent organisation reveals top five killers - and cows are near the top
A list of the top five killer animals in the UK have been produced by Kent-based the Wildwood Trust.
It follows a series of scare stories in the national press over fox attacks on humans.
After reading the reports, the chief executive of the Herne Common-based Wildwood Trust, Peter Smith, compiled a list of the animals most likely to kill humans in the UK.
He explained: “Sensationalist stories of wild animal attacks have flooded the weekend press but what is the likelihood of actually being attacked by an animal? Wildwood Trust is dedicated to restoring wild animals to the UK so we are very interested in the risks that our charitable efforts could cause. I have made a study of such risks and can reveal, for the first time, Britain’s deadliest animals.
“The reasons behind people’s morbid fascination with wild animal attacks go right back to our caveman roots and is a hangover from when we had to run away from sabre toothed tigers or rampaging woolly mammoths. This fear has driven man to eradicate all the wild animals in the UK that we perceive to be dangerous. It is of great sadness to me that people cannot instead learn to live with wildlife.
“There has been a series of very dubious ‘fox attack’ stories in the British media in recent years which play upon our primal fears. Many wildlife experts I talk with suspect that supporters of fox hunting are encouraging these stories in an attempt to demonise foxes and so support a return of fox hunting. The same newspapers that carry these dubious stories also seem to support fox hunting.”
According to the National Office of Statistics around 25 people each year are killed directly by animals. Of the 25 directly related animal deaths in the UK, the top 5 killers are:
1. Horses: about 10 a year
2. Cows: about 5 a year
3. Domestic dogs: about 4 per year
4. Bees & Wasps: about 3 per year
5. Deer –attacks about 1 per year
Globally, snakes are by far the biggest direct killer of humans at about 70,000 a year, while malaria transferred to people by mosquitoes kills about 1 million people per year.
There are many hidden killers such as the dust mites that cause asthma or diseases we catch from farm animals and pets. These hidden killers are responsible for thousands of deaths each year.