Itchy cows blamed for power blackouts

2 June 2008 – A herd of “itchy” cows reportedly caused electricity outages in the UK after rubbing their backs on a pylon.

The BBC has reported that the power outage for 130 homes in the Welsh village of Gwynfryn last week was caused by the cows scratching themselves against the pylons.

A spokeswoman for electricity company ScottishPower told the BBC that the cows appeared to have dislodged power lines, plunging some parts of the village into darkness for up to 16 hours.

“Although it is rare, it can happen – a fully grown cow can weigh anywhere between 1000 and 1500 lbs (450-680kg),” the spokeswoman said.

“If cattle constantly rub themselves on the same pole then it can dislodge the overhead network.

“In areas where we’ve had problems, we have put up fencing and other obstacles to stop cattle getting too close to the poles.

“Our engineers worked as quickly as they could to re-connect power to customers and we apologise for any inconvenience this caused.”