On Saturday, the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota responded to a farm near Parkers Prairie after receiving a 9-1-1 call reporting that a bull was attacking an adult male.
While details of what happened are still being investigated, the call occurred around 6:15 p.m. When deputies arrived on the scene, they euthanized the bull so that they could provide aid to the victim.
Unfortunately, the victim was died from the attack.
According to reports, more details will be released in the coming days.
Although cattle tend to be viewed as docile animals, they are responsible for around 20 deaths yearly in the United States. That’s more than bears and sharks combined.
Some of it has to do with proximity. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there were 29.4 million beef cows in the United States as of July 1, 2023.
While cattle are clearly herbivores, they are powerful and quick — bulls, in particular. A study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 2003 and 2008 found that 10 of the 21 fatalities under surveillance involved bulls.
Another study published by the National Library of Medicine is quick to point out that people who are involved in animal husbandry are at elevated risk of injury or death. In their study, seven deaths and 23 traumatic injury cases resulted from bull attacks.
The National Ag Safety Database has addressed farm deaths involving bull attacks before. Recommendations include ensuring that animal handlers maintain constant awareness of the location and behavior of bulls, and work with a partner whenever possible.
Those handling livestock should recognize scenarios and behaviors that indicate that bulls are likely to threaten and attack.
While the animal industry has grown in leaps and bounds in producing livestock that are easier to handle by selecting for calm dispositions, bulls that have aggressive or frenzied behavior towards handlers should be culled.
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