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About a quarter of non fatal accidents on farms are animal related. Greatest risk accrues when animals are being moved, separated or released. 

Calttle Rails
Cattle in a crushMost common injuries are: 


Animals with newborn also pose a great risk. One should never turn ones back on such animals. Good handling facilities are extremely important. Pens, fencing, crushes and skulling gates should be of a standard to facilitate herd size.

Zoonotic diseases

These are diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans. To help reduce infection:

  • Keep stock healthy – may include vaccination
  • Use PPE where necessary
  • Encourage good personal hygiene
  • Keep cuts and abrasions covered
  • Control rats and vermin to avoid spreading disease

Bull housing

Safety measures when handling bulls:

  • Bulls should be ringed at 10 months of age
  • Attach chain when bulls are outdoors.
  • A pen to prevent direct contact with bulls when feeding and bedding will prevent many accidents
  • Bulls should be housed where they can be restrained and see the herd
  • Signs warning of the presence of bulls should be visible in public places.

All visible defects in livestock facilities should be identified and maintenance carried out. It is a good idea to use a vehicle when herding animals particularly for older farmers. Regardless of stage of growth aggressive animals should be culled. Stock proof fencing should be maintained, particularly road side fencing.

Move animals with the minimum of fuss and noise.

More information on farming safely with livestock available here on Health and Safety website 



Safe Handling of Livestock

18% of fatalities on farms over the last 10 years have been associated with livestock. Francis Bligh, Health and Safety Specialist with Teagasc discusses staying safe around livestock on your farm

Survivor story

Brendan McLaughlin was dosing a calf when a cow that had always been quiet, turned on him unexpectedly. He describes the dramatic moment where he didn't know if he would survive. His advice is to always use a physical barrier like a crush gate to separate yourself from an animal