400 farm safety in­spec­tions

Irish Examiner - Farming - - NEWS -

The Health and Safety Author­ity (HSA) be­gan 400 planned farm in­spec­tions this week, fo­cus­ing on safe work­ing with live­stock. Ar­eas be­ing as­sessed in­clude; Is an ad­e­quate phys­i­cal bar­rier es­tab­lished be­tween the farmer and freshly calved cow when treat­ing or han­dling calves?

Is there an es­cape plan for an­i­mal birthing ac­tiv­ity?

Is there on­go­ing in­vest­ment in an­i­mal han­dling fa­cil­i­ties, for ex­am­ple, crush, head scoop and calv­ing gate?

Are fa­cil­i­ties and pro­ce­dures ad­e­quate for load­ing and un­load­ing an­i­mals?

The HSA said calv­ing gates en­sure safety and re­duce stress on farm­ers and the an­i­mal, and also rec­om­mended to farm­ers to have well po­si­tioned lights around the farm­yard to im­prove vis­i­bil­ity and safety. The 400 in­spec­tion vis­its will be fol­lowed by a farm ve­hi­cle safety cam­paign in May, and the fo­cus will be on safe work­ing at heights in Oc­to­ber.

A free Safe Han­dling of Cat­tle on Farms doc­u­ment is avail­able on the Author­ity’s www.hsa.ie web­site.

It in­cludes the ad­vice that a cow’s ma­ter­nal in­stinct kicks in some hours be­fore calv­ing and may last for sev­eral days, and any cow can at­tack with a speed that may make it im­pos­si­ble to es­cape in time. The ma­ter­nal in­stinct is sim­ply there for the cow to pro­tect its calf, al­ways con­sider safety and the risk of at­tack.

Risk is high­est when treat­ing the calf, as it may bawl, alert­ing the cow to at­tack. Car­rier. “The beef in­dus­try should be aim­ing to ex­port around 150,000 calves this sea­son in or­der to sus­tain the sec­tor. Any­thing less could threaten the vi­a­bil­ity of beef prices into the fu­ture,” said Mr Cahill.

The Stena Car­rier: will en­able live­stock ex­ports on the Ross­lare to Cher­bourg route.

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