Heroic firefighters in seven fire appliances rescue four bulls which had fallen into slurry tank

Heroic firefighters were called out from stations across Northern Ireland this week to rescue four bulls that had fallen into a slurry tank.

At 6pm on Wednesday, an urgent call was made to the NI Fire and Rescue Service to come and help the distressed animals.

The incident happened at 6pm at a farm on the Diamond View Road, Tullyglush, Dromore.

A spokeswoman for the Fire Service said seven Fire Appliances attended the incident to save the stricken animals, one each from Dromore, Lurgan, Lisburn and Newcastle with a further three Specialist Rescue Team Appliances also attending.

Firefighters rescuing four cattle from a slurry tank in Dromore Co Down on Wednesday 24 November. Photo: NIFRS.

Area Commander for Southern Area Command, Dermot Rooney, said the call was made by a farmer who had discovered that some of his animals, which he had housed for the winter, had fallen into a slurry tank.

“The floor of the cattle house had given way and four bullocks had fallen into a slurry tank,” he told the News Letter.

The Fire Service were able to send their Animal Rescue Team from Newcastle, Co Down along with other officers.
“We successfully rescued all four animals alive from the incident. These animals can be quite challenging in terms of safety, because obviously these are big animals in a distressed state and in a dangerous environment involving slurry.”

The animal rescue officers bring enhanced levels of skills and awareness in relation to handling large farm animals, he added.

“So with help from the farmer and his friends we successfully managed to rescue these four animals from slurry tank.”

Nobody was injured and just one animal may need to be checked over by a vet. He said they had monitoring equipment which showed them there were no slurry gases present, which made their jobs easier and safer.

“But I would like to emphasise that this farmer did the right thing in calling us to come and help us because it is obviously dangerous for him to rescue them on their own. We bring with us specialist experience and equipment, such as gas monitoring, and we are quite happy to help. Because the greater risk is that the farmer would try to do this on his own and we know from history that sometimes that does not end very well.

“We are here if they need our assistance and we are more than happy to rescue animals if they get into trouble.”

He said the farm was very well organised and had a telescopic handler which the farmer used very skillfully with the firefighters to help lift the animals.

The incident was dealt with by 11.33pm.


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