Dominic Leonard is a dry stock farmer from Co. Laois and one who almost lost his life in a farm accident.
The farmer was speaking in a video first published in 2012 in a bid to help promote the need for greater safety on farms and told viewers of his own personal experiences. The farmer suffered a crushing attack from one of his cows, as she sought to protect her calf from tagging.
“A cow took exception from me tagging the calf or I was too close to the calf.”
The farmer described to viewers how he was shoved against the all by the cow, resulting in the farmer cracking his skull against the wall. The farmer was then found on the ground by his daughter, who was only six years old at the time.
“She found me on the floor, lying in a pool of blood and she thought I was dead, I was gone.” The farmer said.
The farmer then issued a warning to other farmers working on a daily basis, that he never thought it would happen to him.
“When you do it every morning like I was doing it and you never had any problems and then you think you never will.” He said.
“Then you do and then it’s too late.” He warned.
In light of the accident and as calving season is in full swing, the HSA have issued a list of tips to farmers for calving and weaning.
1) The calving area should have adequate space and be well bedded. It should be tidy and free from obstructions and have good lighting
2) Only use proper calving jacks. This will help prevent a possibly back injury.
3) Be careful when swinging and lifting newborn calves, as many farmers get hurt during this practice. They advise using mechanical lifting aids or a calf barrow.
4) Keep the calf between you and the heifer or cow and have an escape route planned. Never turn your back on the cow!
5) Keep children and other animals away from the calving area. A dog is likely to upset cows if too close.
Video Source - HSA