Alexander Martin was seriously injured when attacked by a bull on his County Down farm in May 2005.
He recalls the incident in this video produced by Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI).
A stock bull was penned with a group of up to twenty Friesian cows in a cubicle house on the farm. Alexander said that over the period of a month or so, the bull seemed to be showing signs of becoming aggressive.
“I had noticed that there was a cow in heat and I felt it would be a good time to get him and cow separated away into a house.”
Alexander entered the shed and attempted to move the cow; the bull turned towards him as he began planning his escape.
He was pinned up against a wall by the bull; the bull pushed his head against Alexander’s leg.“It seemed like two or three minutes – it might not have been that long.”
“Once the aggression left him, he walked back to the cows again as if nothing had ever happened.” He explained.
Alexander’s farm worker was assisting him when the incident arose. “Once the bull walked away, he was able to help me to get out.”
After the accident
Alexander’s leg was badly bruised and burnt and his collar bone was broken; he sustained muscle injuries.
“I was able to walk even though it was painful. The bigger restriction was my collar bone, in that, my arm was in a sling.”
Alexander admits he was lucky not to be killed but he was unable to work properly for months and had to hire in help to keep his farm going.
“I am thankful that it wasn’t fatal; bulls only have to play with us, to kill us.”
“Had the bull, put the pressure on my upper body that he was putting on my leg, I would have been destroyed.”
Since the accident, Alexander has introduced a well-designed bull-pen which is essential for proper management.
“We always thread very carefully and always keep an eye on the bull.”
The accident has made me the dairy farmer more cautious when working with bulls and on his farm, in the general.
“I was caught keeping my eye fixed on the bull and that was the one thing that really surprised me, that even watching him, he got me.” He concluded.
Alexander’s advises farmers not to take any risks that can be avoided.
Image source: HSENI \ Youtube