Plan your escape route

Care needed around stock

by Mike Isle

The serious injuries sustained by a Canterbury farmer this month when he was attacked by a bull have once again highlighted the need for care when handling stock.

At the time of the earlier attack president of Federated Farmers North Canterbury Cameron Henderson, who farms in the area at Oxford, said the tragedy was unusual.

“It is incredibly rare to have a death by a cattle beast in New Zealand,” he said.
Nevertheless, Worksafe New Zealand devotes a substantial portion of its website to the safe handling of stock, including cattle, and deer.

The website has downloadable guides to the safe handling of each of the above. Some recommendations Worksafe makes are common to all. They include anyone working with stock is appropriately trained and experienced for the task, keeping yards tidy and well maintained, and planning an escape route when working with cattle in the yards.

Worksafe says injuries are most likely to happen to farmers who don’t have the experience to assess the risks, have stock not handled by humans often, for example, run cattle and are tired, such as during calving season when farmers work long hours with broken sleep.

Worksafe’s website is