West Row: Farmer attacked by dairy cow


- Credit: citizenside.com

A DAIRY farmer is lucky to be alive after he was attacked by one of his herd.

The incident happened in the farmyard at High Post Farm in Hurdle Drove near West Row on Friday evening.

The 52-year-old man slipped and fell and was subsequently attacked by the cow, which was protecting its calf.

He suffered severe chest injuries and suspected internal bleeding and was taken to West Suffolk Hospital for treatment.

Three medical units attended the incident. First on the scene was emergency medical charity, Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS), which was called to the property around 5.40pm.

Volunteer doctor, Andy Mason, who treated the farmer at the scene, said attacks by cows were not rare. He had attended two similar incidents during his career and both of the other victims had died as a result of the attacks.

He said: “The West Row farmer slipped, fell on the ground and then the cow carried out a sustained attack on him after he had fallen. When a cow has a calf at foot, it will become more aggressive. They are very protective of their calves so if they see a threat, they will attack.

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“They will usually get down and try to roll on people, and as most of them weigh up to a tonne, that can create devastating injuries. They also get down on their knees and start butting with their heads, which can cause severe injuries because the head of a cow is very heavy.”

Following the attack the farmer managed to get back to his house but collapsed shortly after. A rapid response vehicle from Ely and an ambulance were also sent to the farm.

Dr Mason continued: “I gave him some special treatment to limit the amount of internal bleeding and to stabilise him. He was then taken to West Suffolk Hospital by ambulance for further treatment.”

According to Dr Mason, more people in the UK are killed by cows than by bulls. He advised walkers to be vigilant if they encountered the animals with calves. He added: “If you are walking through a field with a dog and you see a cow with a calf at foot, the cow is likely to see the dog as a threat but will go for you instead if you are holding the dog on a lead.

“The best advice is to let the dog go. Dogs generally run off and are fine.

“I would like to reiterate that it is not rare for a cow to attack if it feels that its calf is threatened.”

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