Farmer dies from injuries after being attacked by bull

Iowa Case Report: 11IA043
Report Date: October 22, 2012

The following report is the product of our Cooperative State partner and is presented here in its original unedited form from the state. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the individual Cooperative State partner and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


In summer 2011, a 53-year-old farmer who worked with her husband in a family dairy operation was injured by a 2 ½-year-old Holstein bull during morning milking chores. On the day of the incident, the victim and her husband began their usual chores: the wife was in the dairy building working cows in the holding pen through the milking parlor to milk, while her husband was in the nearby barn, cleaning the floors with a skid loader. When his wife did not come out of the milking area after starting a group of cows on the milking machines, the husband went into the parlor to check on her. He found her lying near the gate between the holding pen and the milking area. She was unable to move, and told her husband the bull in the holding pen had struck her from behind. The husband moved her into the milking area, secured the cattle in the holding pen, and called 911. First responders arrived and transported the woman to the hospital. The woman was awake and oriented upon arrival but in critical condition with multiple blunt-force injuries and a near-severed spinal cord. Her condition deteriorated, and she died three days later.

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Page last reviewed: November 18, 2015