Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fernando Cruz

Fernando Cruz was gravely injured yesterday and before someone jumps right in with a "poor, poor, tortured bull" pity party, let's consider the common barnyard cow/bull  who has been bred for dozens of centuries for it docility, tameness, and calmness in close proximity to man, attacking the farmer/rancher attempting to feed it.  Then let's consider the fighting bull who has been bred for dozen's of centuries for it ferocity, courage, and fighting ability.  If a "domestic" bull will kill the farmer/rancher attempting to feed it,  how much pain and suffering to you suppose the "fighting" bull  has to experience to kill the torero.  Not much if you understand animal behavior, and selective breeding for a trait.

When Animals Attack-Cow Survival Guide
Popular Mechanics  February 2011

While the world worries about being eaten alive by sharks, statistics show that far more Americans are killed each year by a more menacing animal: the cow. Don't let yourself become a statistic: We talk to experts on livestock and farm-related fatalities, who explain what to do to avoid the unpleasant company of a grumpy mooing beast.

Between 2003 and 2008, 108 people died from cattle-induced injuries across the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's 27 times the whopping four people killed in shark attacks in the United States during the same time period, according to the International Shark Attack File. Nearly all those cow-related fatalities were caused by blunt force trauma to the head or chest; a third of the victims were working in enclosed spaces with cattle.

 Close encounters of the bovine kind are not the most lethal aspect of the agriculture industry: That title might go to tractor accidents, which kill about 120 people each year, according to Wayne Sanderson, who conducted the CDC report on cattle-related fatalities. (Sanderson, a professor in the epidemiology department at the University of Kentucky, says farm safety does not fall under the jurisdiction of OSHA and is therefore largely unchecked.) Nevertheless, he says, just as the right equipment and careful driving can keep a tractor from flipping, the right precautions can keep cattle from charging:

If you have a cow or bull that you know to be prone to violent outbursts, Sanderson says, get rid of it. Have a nice steak dinner. Invite your friends.

Speaking of friends: The buddy system can be lifesaving when you're in close proximity to large animals, whether you're a rookie or a veteran at dealing with cattle. In fact, the majority of deaths in the CDC study involved older men who had worked with the animals for years. Farms stay within a family less frequently these days, so fewer sons are replacing their fathers, Sanderson says, and more farmers in their 60s and 70s must deal with the animals alone. "They used to be able to get out of the way," he says, but that's no longer always the case("that's the same case for wild animal trainer, trust me on that.")
Says 22-year-old Margaret Dunn, a graduate research assistant studying animal science at Iowa State University and an Ivy League undergrad who didn't grow up on a farm, she has become wise about familiarity with cattle: "Trust them and get used to how they work, but don't trust them so much that you turn your back on them."

Avoid getting into a confined space with cows. Sanderson says he knows of people killed when cows smashed them against the sides of gates, fences and barns.

  If you do find yourself staring down an angry cow, Dunn says the solution is simple, in theory: Get away from the animal as fast as possible with any means necessary. "Don't be afraid to kick, yell, punch, whatever," she says. Although it's important to consider the welfare of animals, your life could be at risk, and Dunn points out that it's unlikely she or anyone else could kick or punch hard enough to hurt a 1,400-pound cow.

If you're not in immediate danger, but a cow or bull is making you nervous by pawing or snorting, there are steps you can take to keep the animal from charging. "Get something between you and her," Dunn says, suggesting nearby "trees, feed bunk, or other cows as long as they're chill."

A calf might be cute, but Sanderson reminds us that its threatened, angry, protective and charging-at-you mama is not. "The golden rule for mama cows is that as soon as she calves, she's a whole different cow," Dunn says.

Remember, you are in charge. You need to know you're in control for the cows to know you're in control, Dunn says. "In general, they respect that."

Carry a broom. "Not necessarily to smack the cows," Dunn says, "but to make yourself look taller."

Be careful what you carry. The CDC study includes the story of a 38-year-old Nebraska farmer who had a syringe full of Micotil, a bovine antibiotic, in his pocket when a cow knocked him down. The medicine was accidentally injected into his body and killed him.

Finally, when you are in proximity to the large, vacant-eyed, masticating critters, try not to forget Dunn's simple message: "They are animals with minds of their own."

'Make sure you read the comments in one day to the above clip.  Note the grammar and understand an animal rights activist.'

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