Farmers warned of dangers of taking videos and selfies of freshly calved cows
CALVING season is in full swing on Irish farms.
FarmIreland reported last year on a new trend on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram of photos of cows and newly-born calves being shared, and in some cases 'selfies' of the farmer with the animals.
This continues this year and short videos have also started being posted on social media.
Farmers are understandably proud of their herd’s offspring but safety comes first. It is only a matter of time before a farmer is seriously injured by a protective cow while they wave as their phone is poised.
Even the quietest animal can turn in a flash if they think their calf is in danger. Cow attacks around calving time have increased in recent years, and now surpass bull attacks as the number one livestock-related cause of deaths, says Teagasc. Taking photos or videos from behind a gate or barrier is fine but many want to get up close for a better shot.
Chairperson of Limerick ICMSA, Tom Blackburn said last year that it could be “very dangerous indeed” to get close to a calf while the mother was in the vicinity. And he repeats the warning this calving season.
While not an avid user of social media the dairy man from Effin said he was aware of the practice
“I would just remind people that they must be very careful around calves where the cows are present. I really don’t want to appear to be a killjoy but I wonder sometimes whether people appreciate the kind of threat that a protective cow represents when she feels her calf is in danger?