The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has published a video ahead of the main calving season to remind farmers of the dangers at calving time.

In the video, farmer Brendan McLaughlin speaks about the horrific leg injuries he suffered after a cow attacked him.

Recounting the attack Brendan said: “I’m lucky to be alive, very lucky to be alive.


“I sensed there’s something wrong here. I ran for it as hard as I could go. She came charging after me and I could just see straight ahead of me. I dashed through a feeding gate.

“She caught my leg and she hit the ankle with the butt of her head and she wouldn’t let go, she kept screwing her head into the bars. I kicked her with my other foot on the nose.

“I pulled myself back to the wall and then I nearly passed out.”

As a result of the attack Brendan had two operations on his leg with two surgeries at two different times. He now has plates and screws in his leg and attends physio every week and said it was unbelievable what he had been through.

“You never trust an animal at calving, never do.”


Looking back on the attack Brendan said he should never have taken the cow out of the pen and that she should have been in a crush gate. He said while other farmers might think “that will never happen to me”, there is always the possibility there is a day it will happen.

At calving, the HSA advises to always maintain a physical barrier with the cow and to plan an escape route in advance of any cattle handling.

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