According to the HSA, bull attacks accounted for 16% of work-related fatalities involving cattle in Ireland between 2011-2020.
Doreen Corridan, Munster Bovine, advises farmers to build a relationship with stock bulls.
In a video created by Teagasc, she stresses that “when you bring home a bull, you should never put him on his own in a house”.
She advises that you put the bull with a smaller female or a steer as opposed to a dominant animal. Corridan says you should feed the two animals together and “build a relationship with the bull”.
She explains: “The relationship that you need to build with the animals is where he respects you as the owner, but also you are the dominant partner.”
“Therefore, each time when you go in to feed them, take a stick. If he puts down his head, give him a little tap on the nose to say, ‘I’m the boss,’ before feeding him and scratching his back.”
“You are then building a relationship with the bull where he respects you and associates you with feed, but he also knows that you are dominant, and he is not dominant.”
“A lot of herdowners, when they go into a pen, the bull is on his own and is nervous. He then becomes aggressive because he feels he is cornered. He puts down his head, and the herdowner goes outside the gate. One-nil; the bull is one up.”
“Then the bull becomes dominant, and then, after a period of time, it is difficult to handle them. Ideally, you want to buy one that already has a ring in its nose and one that has been halter trained.”
“He will be far easier to handle, and he respects the rope. Also, a ring in its nose is extremely useful for handling and if you want to put on a chin ball, subsequent from the point of view of heat detection.”
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