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Friday, July 24, 2015

Health and safety for cows

The Daily Telegraph definitely has headline of the week with this eye-catching offering:

Cows 'should wear flourescent jackets and strings of lights' at night, council says

The paper says that a local council has suggested that cows be dressed in high-viz reflective jackets with lights strung around their necks to ensure they can be spotted by motorists at night:

The proposal, which would create a herd of “disco” cattle and light up the local common, was put forward as a means of allowing the animals to graze in safety in poor light.

Several cows have been struck by cars on the green at Hungerford, Berks, and last month one was so badly hurt it had to be put down by a vet.

The problem is far from new and farmers have spent years trying to persuade the local authority to introduce traffic calming measures to stop motorists tearing through the common at high speed.

But there was a collective rolling of eyes when it was suggested this week that the cows be dressed in fluorescent jackets with luminous bands around their necks.

Martin Crane, the mayor of Hungerford, even went one further and proposed the animals wear strings of flashing lights.

Perhaps fortunately for the 175-strong herd in question, the measure was deemed too costly and would have left either the council or the farmers around £3,000 out of pocket.

Roger Denton, one of the farmers who keeps around 25 cows on the land during the summer months, said it was not the first time councillors had come up with the “hair-brained idea”.

“It’s been mentioned before. I think it’s ridiculous,” he said.

“The bottom line is that it’s all down to the speed of cars. If a cow had a fluorescent strip around its neck, you wouldn’t be able to see it if it had its back to you or if it was facing you head on.

“What are the chances of the perfect cow that’s going to cross right in front of you, side on, to ensure you spot its décor?

Back to the drawing board then.
It would help if they could spell "fluorescent".

I am reminded of Tom Lehrer's hunting song - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQyoSLOlglw

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