The number of fatal farming accidents in Wales has more than doubled than last year, as per the official figures.

 The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report showed seven deaths in 2020-21, as compared to three deaths in 2019-20.

Farmer Alun Hopkins, 80, mentioned he would take more care after breaking his ankle and was in hospital after being charged by a cow in February.

The HSE referred to it as “disappointing” and insisted farmers call out bad practices.

The rise in Wales replicated a similar increase across the UK, where there were 41 fatal incidents in 2020-21, compared with 23 in 2019-20.

The provisional figure for 2020-21 was also more than the UK five-year average of 33 deaths per year between 2016-2021.

More than half the fatal incidents in the UK comprised people aged over 60, and there was also a significant increase in targets among the 45-54 age group.

The leading causes involved moving vehicles, animals, contact with machinery and being struck by an object.

Alun Hopkins was attacked by a cow on his farm near the village of Pisgah, in Ceredigion, in February.

He said, “I went to tag a newborn calf in the calving pen. The calf was quiet, and I was on my way out when the cow hit me.

“I fell to the floor where she kept ramming me. I managed to fight her off, open the gate and limped up to the house.”

Mr Hopkins was lifted by air ambulance to Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth, where he stayed for two nights with a broken ankle.

He said, “I was shocked more than anything. I’ve had a few hits before, but nothing like this.” Alun said farmers should rethink before doing any job on the farm.

“I should have waited for my son to help me. One to tag the calf and one to watch the cow,” he said.

“That’s what will happen next time. I’m not going to risk it. It’s happened once, it could happen again.”


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