A 12-year-old girl suffered serious injuries when she fell from a trailer after being attacked by a cow in rural Te Awamutu on Sunday - the latest in more than 4000 incidents where people were hurt by cattle in the last year.

A St John spokeswoman said crews attended the incident about 11am and the girl was flown to Waikato Hospital in a serious condition.

A spokesperson for the Waikato Westpac Rescue helicopter said the girl and her mother were moving stock, when one of the cows reacted adversely causing the girl to fall onto the tow-bar of a trailer that was attached to the farm-quad being ride by her mother.

She suffered neck and back injuries and the helicopter was dispatched due to the possibility of spinal injury, and the need for urgent transport.


No further information has been released.

Statistics released by ACC show there were 4279 live cattle accidents in the 2014/15 financial year, costing about $10 million in payouts.

The most expensive cattle accident claim clocked up $93,300.

There were about 100 more cattle accidents in the 2013/14 financial year but the claims cost more than $1 million less.

Cattle accidents came in as the 3rd most common in the list of specific animal incidents behind the 19,000 dog accident claims and 9000 horse accident claims.

The "other" category for animal claims, including cats, topped the list with a whopping 46,700 recorded in the last financial year.

Lacerations, punctures and stings took out the most common injuries in both years, followed by soft tissue injuries, fractures, inhalation and dental injuries.

Most people injured by cattle hurt their hand or wrist, followed by their lower back or spine.


An ACC spokeswoman said it was important to note that the number of cattle, sheep and horse related injuries was proportional to the animal population in New Zealand, not because the animals presented a greater danger.

Animal accidents - 2015 financial year:

•Cattle: 4,279 accidents: cost $10,488,616
•Deer: 164 accidents: cost $366,957
•Dog: 19,145 accidents: cost $12,046,400
•Horse: 8.965 accidents: cost $22,277,077
•Sheep: 3,306 accidents: cost $5,908,672
•Other: 46,773 accidents: cost $9,007,119