Stay safe during busy calving period

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Cattle farmers are being encouraged to carefully consider whether they have taken steps to reduce the risk associated with working with calving cows and young calves.

As the main spring calving season gets under way, cattle farmers are being urged to consider how they can reduce the potential dangers, which regularly result in injuries, and sadly also fatalities.

Charlie Adam, chairman of NFU Scotland’s Livestock Committee, who is currently calving around 100 suckler cows, pointed out that farmers themselves were very often in the best position to be able to judge the way to reduce the risks at calving time.

He said: “Each farmer knows his own animals and set-up in terms of handling facilities and equipment but it is important they take time to identify the risks now before the tiredness of calving kicks in and judgement can be impaired.

“It is always worth just taking a moment to think through the possible scenarios before jumping in to deal with even what is a simple intervention and to consider your own safety as well as the wellbeing of the cow and calf.

“In many cases the best advice is to make sure you have someone with you to assist, although in many situations this may not be possible, but it is also worth bearing in mind that in some cases cows may be unsettled by an unfamiliar person getting involved.”

Among the techniques farmers can use to reduce risks are locating a well-strawed creep area in the calving shed for calves, which can be shut off to separate cows and calves.