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Remember the safety risks when managing cattle

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A personal injury lawyer offers some sage advice in Farmers’ Weekly:

Three very different accidents, but with the same common cause, highlight the hazards and potential tragedies caused by cattle on British farms.

One of these involved water buffalo when, in May 2020, Ralph Jump, 57, who kept the animals at his Monmouthshire farm, entered the field to free the hay ring for his bull, after it became caught on an electric fence. He was attacked by the bull, and his 19-year-old son, Peter, who went to his aid, was also injured. Both men died.

In a second accident, Marian Clode was killed when on holiday in Northumberland. She and her family were walking on a public bridleway at the same time as the farmer was moving his cattle to winter pasture. A group of cows broke away and stampeded down the track. Mrs Clode was unable to get out of the way and was repeatedly hit, causing fatal injuries.

Giving evidence at the subsequent inquest, the farmer said he had been moving cattle for more than 40 years without incident. He conceded: “I think, with hindsight, we could all do things differently, but at the time I thought we had a good plan that reduced the risks.”

The third incident was in Northern Ireland, when 24-year-old Ian Beacom, working on his family farm, was crushed by a cow when he got into the cattle crush to administer medication. Although his spleen was ruptured in two places, prompt attention at hospital saved his life.

He said: “I was a bit too comfortable, which led me to do something I shouldn’t have done, which was get into the crush with the cow.”

These are not isolated incidents, as each year on average five people are killed in accidents involving cattle.


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