Rural Affairs

Calving with care

Many farmers across Northern Ireland will be busy with Autumn calving and the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) is urging members to be mindful of their own safety at all times.

Livestock are unpredictable, especially after giving birth. The HSENI advices farmers to never turn their back on a cow during calving, and has created the following guidance to help farmers stay safe on the farm:

  1. ALWAYS be aware, watch for warning signs of animal aggression, especially in cows and heifers around calving time.
  2. PLAN an escape route or refuge in advance of handling livestock.
  3. Farmers MUST have adequate handling facilities for calving.
  4. Try to have help available when calving OR let someone know where you are AND carry a mobile phone in case of emergency.
  5. ALWAYS keep children away from calving activities.
  6. NEVER stress or arouse cattle unnecessarily.
  7. NEVER turn your back on a cow or heifer around calving time.
  8. Be particularly careful when animals are returned to the field after they’ve been housed indoors for long periods.
  9. Aggressive and difficult cattle should be culled as soon as possible.