Cow cuddling - the latest wellness trend to arrive in New Zealand

Overseas cow cuddling has become a big movement - and now the wellness trend from the Netherlands has arrived in New Zealand.

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Reporter Mary-Jane Aggett visited a farm to find out more. Source: Seven Sharp

It's believed hugging a cow slows our heartbeat, while their warm body makes people happy. This kind of calming effect brought on by animals is well-known.

"So when we connect with animals - especially if we're hugging them or stroking them - we're releasing oxytocin, which is our hug drug," says psychologist Jacqui Maguire.

Seven Sharp reporter Mary-Jane Aggett decided to give cow hugging a go and paid a visit to Jamie Lyons, a fourth generation farmer in Mangatāwhiri, in the Waikato.

He manages a large herd of cows and literally knows them by name. Number 70 is one of his calmest cows and Aggett found cuddling her an immediate stress-reliever.

So much so, she brought a trailer in from Little Bo Peeps Mobile Farm to TVNZ HQ. It was here that staff were able to try for themselves the relaxing effects of cow hugging.

For the full story watch the video above.