Prize breeding cow rescued from silo-pit

(Last Updated On: May 19, 2014)

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A cow was rescued from a silo-pit yesterday by fire and rescue service

At a farm near Bigbury, a prize breeding cow was being moved from one area of the farm to another, when it strayed from the herd and entered the barn. The empty silo-pit was at floor level to the barn and the cow fell in.

Cow

The farmer and his staff tried to rescue the cow, but realised it was too dangerous and needed the assistance of the fire service. Crews attended from Modbury fire station, as well as the specialist animal rescue team from Camels head fire station, and a specialist animal rescue advisor.

The officer in charge also requested the attendance of a vet and the best plan to release the cow was discussed. It was decided to secure specialist animal lifting strops around the cow and then to sedate the cow – this couldn’t be done before because the cow may have collapsed and this would have made fitting the strops very difficult.

Once the strops were in position, the vet sedated the cow and we waited for that to take effect. The first dose had no real effect so the vet gave another dose. In all the vet gave four times what he would normally administer. He explained that it would cause the cow to be sleepy for longer, but have no long term effects.

Eventually when the cow was suitably sedated the farmer brought in his mechanical tele-handler, which was fitted with specialist lifting gear provided by Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service. The lifting strops were attached and the cow was carefully lifted out through an opening of about 2m x 1m.

After a short pause to shorten the lifting strops the cow was manoeuvred out of the barn using the tele-handler, to a place set aside in another barn. Apart from looking very dazed from the sedatives the cow looked none the worse for wear from its fall.

One sad note however, the cow went into premature labour from the shock of falling into the silo-pit, and her calf was still born.


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            Team account for We Are South Devon.