More than half the vets who work with farm livestock end up getting injured, the results of a new study suggest.
The findings have prompted officials at the British Veterinary Association (BVA) to call on vets, farmers and veterinary practices that provide care on farms to read and take heed of the advice contained in its Farm Health and Safety information leaflets.
Some 53% of the vets who work with production animals and were questioned for the BVA’s Spring 2015 Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey say they’ve been injured over the last year.
Many injuries ‘severe’
Almost 1 in 5 (18.8%) of the vets say the injuries they sustained during their accidents at work were either quite or very severe.
The vast majority (84.8%) of those who have been injured by an animal say they suffered bruising as a result of being kicked.
Others say they sustained head injuries and fractures after being kicked by farm animals with others reporting crush injuries and cuts.
Vet attacked by two bulls on one farm
One vet said they had been kicked in the head while attempting to castrate a calf while another said they’d been left “shocked and bruised” after experiencing two separate attacks by bulls on the same farm.
Another vet described “squashed body parts” which resulted from farm accidents involving crushes caused by cattle.
The association’s resources include a risk assessment form aimed at veterinary practices, a guide containing accident and safety advice for vets and an information leaflet aimed at farmers.
The guide includes information about everything from legislation aimed at reducing farm-related injuries to what to do when an accident does happen.
The risk assessment form is designed to give employers an idea of potential hazards their vets can expect to encounter when they visit a specific farm.
BVA president John Blackwell says it is vital that vets, farmers and other interested parties share responsibility and take health and safety seriously.
Source: British Veterinary Association
Date Published: July 21, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown