Donegal farmer "lucky to be alive" after cow attack

Cow with calf Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Brendan McLaughlin, who has been farming for 40 years, said he is lucky to be alive

A farmer from County Donegal, who sustained serious injuries after being attacked by a cow, has said he is lucky to be alive.

Brendan McLaughlin, 66, was on his farm near Manorcunningham treating a sick calf two weeks ago when the incident unfolded.

Mr McLaughlin, who farms 86 acres of land, is also the vice chairman of the Irish Farmers' Association.

Bones in his leg and foot were broken and he was taken to hospital.

"The heifer had calved and the calf took sick," said Mr McLaughlin.

"I have escape gates and everything but I didn't see this coming. I'll never trust a heifer again.

"She came behind me to the gate. She looked at me and didn't move. I ran then as hard as I could.

"I ran through a feeding barrier which was only 12 inches wide, but she got me. She pinned my foot to the barrier with her head."

'The pain was severe'

Brendan McLaughlin has been a farmer for 40 years and decided to speak out to raise awareness for other farmers.

"Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. I was on my back before I knew it and kind of passed out.

"I had my phone in my pocket which was lucky and I got hold of my wife.

"The pain was severe and I knew there was damage done. I'm lucky to be alive.

"I broke the tibia in one place and broke the bottom of my heel. I have pins in my foot and the leg too.

"My message for farmers is never to trust a cow or any animal on a farm. You can have all the safety measures in the world but never trust a cow."

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