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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Four hour rescue operation to save cow trapped in slurry pit

Firefighters from Carlisle battled for four hours to free a dairy cow after it became trapped in a slurry pit.

The alarm was raised at 6.45pm yesterday after the animal, which was carrying an unborn calf at the time, got into difficulty at Priory Farm in Armathwaite, near Carlisle.

Initially a fire appliance and a major rescue vehicle were sent to the scene from Carlisle East fire station but officers later called in an extra pump from the city’s west station once the emergency was fully assessed.

A Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said that the dairy cow had found its way into the slurry pit and was trapped up to its neck when they got to the scene.

Firefighters used animal straps, lines and ropes, as well as a farm vehicle to try to haul the animal from the pit.

To protect themselves the fire crews also wore slurry suits as well as sets of breathing apparatus during the rescue operation.

The spokesman said that they also used a large inflatable platform which was placed across the pit to get closer to the stricken animal. He added: “The cow was led to safety following its removal.”

Fire crews were then able to leave the scene and were back at base by 11pm however it took almost two hours to clean all of the equipment.

Crew manager John Lynch, who is based at Carlisle East fire station, said the cow was safe and well and left in the care of the farmer.

He said: “The farmer washed it off and it went back to the rest of the milk herd. The cow seemed quite fine other than superficial cuts and bruises.

“After speaking to the farmer he said it was fine other than being tired. It was in calf and the farmer was quite happy with the condition of the animal.”

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