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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 October, 2004, 14:43 GMT 15:43 UK
Cows shocked by electricity surge
Friesian cattle
The farmer is worried about long-term effects on his herd
A Devon farmer is threatening to sue an electricity firm after part of his dairy herd was allegedly stunned by an 11,000 volt surge from a faulty cable.

The cows fell to the ground when the cable electrified their shed during milking on the farm at Inwardleigh.

Peter Banbury is concerned about the long-term effects on his cattle, many of which hit their heads as they fell.

Western Power Distribution says an insulator on the mains power cable had been damaged by a lightning strike.

It was absolute pandemonium and very frightening
Peter Banbury

The faulty power cable was 150 yards away from the milking parlour.

Mr Banbury has built up a 120-strong herd of pedigree Friesian cattle which were raised by his father.

The farmer says when the accident happened, he thought he had lost part of his herd.

He said: "They literally fell to the ground as the big bang went off.

"The hit their heads on the troughs and were backing over each other trying to get out the shed.

"The cows were scouring everywhere. It was absolute pandemonium and very frightening."

Mr and Mrs Banbury were protected by rubber mats in the dairy and rubber boots.




SEE ALSO:
Lightning strike kills cows
12 Aug 03  |  North East Wales


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