Farmer beware: CDC report says cattle cause 20 deaths yearly; older farmers are most at risk
By Associated Press
3:09 AM CDT, August 4, 2009
CHICAGO (AP) — Farmers beware: A government report says cattle cause 20 deaths a year on average on U.S. farms.
Most involve working with cattle in enclosed areas or moving and herding the animals. Older farmers are most at risk.
The report comes from the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is based on data from 2003 to 2008.
The CDC focused on cattle-related deaths in four states — Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
But cattle pose a danger in Illinois too. According to the Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois has nearly 20,000 beef cattle farms and more than 1,200 dairy farms.The CDC says farmers should improve livestock-handling facilities to prevent close contact, and take precautions when working with cattle, especially cattle that have been aggressive in the past. Link
Those of us in the livestock industry know full well the danger involved in working with animals. No matter how domesticated or tame they are, they will always be unpredictable. We’ve all had that close call that turned out OK, but every year a few producers don’t get so lucky. It doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves once in a while that we should all make safety a bigger priority.