More than half of vets hurt on farm in past year

More than half of farm animal vets in the UK have suffered injuries on farm in the past 12 months, according to a survey by the British Veterinary Association.

Of those responding, almost 20% said the injuries were very or quite severe, with the most common injury (84%) being bruising caused by kicks.

See also: Get health and safety tips and advice

Other injuries reported by vets included lacerations, crush injuries and head injuries and fractures caused by kicks.

One vet who responded to the survey said they were “kicked in the side of the head while castrating a calf”, while another said the most common injuries involved cattle crushes and squashed body parts.

See also: Top tips for safe cattle handling

As part of Farm Safety Week (6-10 July), the BVA is urging all vets to take health and safety on farm seriously and conduct health and safety assessments.

BVA president John Blackwell said: “I want vet practices to understand their responsibilities and make use of our resources to help protect their employees on farm visits.

“I want vets going out on farms to keep updating existing risk assessments to keep their colleagues and themselves safe.”

“Farmers and vets up and down the country have seen colleagues injured on farms and consequently unable to work. Many injuries are avoidable if vet practices, their employees and farmers all take action to minimise the risks,” he added.

Vets and farmers can download specific farm safety resources – for farmers and for vets