Farmer attacked by mad cow
Thursday 30 Dec 2010 4:44 p.m.
By Adam Hollingworth
A farmer attacked by a cow is in hospital with seven cracked ribs and a punctured lung.
The attack happened on a farm on the Manukau Harbour's Awhitu Peninsula.
A paramedic says the man owes his life to the fact that he took the cow by the horns.
The cow is the best part of 500kg of angry highland beef, and she wasn't cowed by our cameraman.
It's easy to see why David Millar only just survived.
"The cow was being loaded onto a cattle truck and has turned on the farmer and chased him down the race," says Chris Deacon, "and he's been running away from it and tripped and the cow has attacked him on the ground and started to try and gorge him with his horns."
Paramedics say Mr Millar's quick thinking saved him.
"He reached up and grabbed the cow's horns to try and prevent himself from being punctured by the cow's tips, and he just hung on tight.
"I think by all accounts the cow made seven quite deliberate charges into the ground with him hanging on, so a really savage attack by any account."
Mr Millar's wife says he is stable in Middlemore Hospital, but still in considerable pain after his pummelling.
"His injuries have been of a considerable nature and um, yeah, it wouldn't have been out of the question for him to have died," says Mr Deacon.
It was tempting to put the cow down but Mr Millar's family says it was spooked and isn't laying blame.Attacks by livestock are not uncommon. The Department of Labour says in the year to December there were 32 serious incidents involving livestock, roughly one every 11 days.
Farmers are trained to be cautious round livestock, but those who've been attacked tell 3 News the animals can be docile for years but then suddenly turn and attack repeatedly.
And weighing eight to 10 times a human - and made mostly of muscle - it's easy to see who comes off second best.