Survivor Stories, Episode 1: Bull attack

Survivor Stories, Episode 1: Bull attack


To this day when I come to that spot I always think of that day. My father was a very… outgoing active man, he loved… He loved people. He loved meeting with people he loved working with people he was always very involved in local issues, in community issues in farmer issues. He was only in his early 70’s a tremendously fit man probably too fearless for his own good he believed that he could superimpose his will on everything and anything and… that there was no situation that he couldn’t
resolve or take on. It was an April day a late April day and it was very dry I was preparing one last field for corn. I wasn’t back in
until half past eight and I remember the first thing when I got in, Mum said to me “Where’s your father?” And immediately, immediately… alarm bells sounded. We had a cross bull and we knew we had a cross bull a very temperamental animal. But as so often happens on farms he cost a lot of money we were trying to get one more season out of him and then he was to go to the factory. When I arrived on the scene the bull seemed to be standing in one place all the time. He had unfortunately managed to get the chain caught around a bush. It was obvious to me that my Dad had found him and being the overly brave man that he was believed that he would…suppress this bulls wicked tendencies and go in and release him. I knew immediately that he was dead. I knew immediately that he was dead. He was just curled up as if he was sleeping. The first thing I had to do was to get the bull out of there. Then I, raced down to…the house I remember comng into this
room where we’re sitting and blurting out to my Mum, God love her “Dad’s dead! Dad’s dead! The bull’s killed Dad.” My younger brother had come home from work and we went up, and we carried him down to… the kitchen here in the meantime
my Mum had called the doctor and the Guards when we got down, they were here. And that’s as it happened. At the time of his death, I had my two oldest girls were born
and he doted on them he absolutely idolised them. I think…he probably would have had some great years with them. It’s a pity, that he was denied that and that they were denied the possibilty of getting to know him and to grow with him. You have to ask yourself what value do you put on your own life? That’s probably one of the major effects of… my Dad’s death really. It’s caused me to re-evaluate
my own importance to the farm what my loss would have to this farming setup and what the implications would be for my family. I think the point I’d like to make it shouldn’t actually take a traumatic accident. People shouldn’t have to suffer that level of loss. Small changes can make a difference. I have put in place, a handling unit that I can handle a very difficult cow in once I can get her into it. That’s taking a lot of the risk
out of cow management If I have a difficult cow at, or after calving and a weak calve that needs to suck I can handle them safely in this system. In farming today It’s more or less…one man operations they’re long hours, and you get tired. And you cut corners. And again… people say “You shouldn’t do that” That’s what we do. The challenge, and where a farmer shouldn’t be afraid of a visit from a Health & Safety Officer, you have someone, walking a farm with you. Looking, from a professional perspective at risk areas that you never see, because you’re there every day and the accidents never happened. Very modest investment in some
of the more dangerous features on your farm and a small change of mindset in being more conscious of the dangers that are out there can make a huge difference can make the difference between life and death

9 thoughts on “Survivor Stories, Episode 1: Bull attack

  1. Very moving & HOW I feel for this gent. & his Ma & family. As MOST farmy types will tell you "NEVER, NEVER trust a bull; I was almost killed on two occasions by 'gentle' Guenseys MANY moons ago. I STILL have nightmares re. the worst of the incidents which took place in Devon c. 1958 when I was 'under cowman' to 120 prime milking Guernseys + 3 Bulls & 180 A. Angus 'wildies' with 2 Bulls. I was young [16]
    & silly & THOUGHT I understood bovines, but I learned the hard way!!
    NEVER TRUST BULLS!!!

  2. These cases are usually the result of complacency in the form of "a shure we've never had an accident all these years, harly gonna have one now".
    Same as the boy racer mentality that has had close shaves but thinks he will never crash.

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