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Dairy farmer sees 54 cows die overnight

A dairy farmer has told of the “worst night of his career” after more than 50 dairy cows died in a suspected water contamination case.

Tom Rawson, co-founder of the Evolution Farming dairy and agri-consultancy business, has posted devastating news on social media that 54 cows died at his Leicester farm.

Writing on Facebook, Mr Rawson said: “After the worse night in my 20 years of dairy farming, daylight has broken on 54 dead cows at our Leicester site.

“Originally thought to be bloat, it is now believed external water source contamination is the likely cause. A long and emotional night for all the farm team, their families, ourselves and the vet Henry.”

Mr Rawson went on to thank his team and firefighters from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, who worked to save 30 cows.

“Thanks to the quick thinking of our amazing team of people, 30 cows that were down were saved. Also thanks to the fire brigade who were called when it became clear it was a water issue to get water to the cows to flush their systems.”

He added: “I guess now the clear-up operation begins, plus the investigations will start. It will be a long day…”

Pioneering farmer

A former Farmers Weekly Farmer Focus writer, Mr Rawson is a co-director of Evolution Farming, an organisation strongly focused on milk from forage and low-cost block-calving systems. 

Currently managing about 2,400 cows across six sites, Evolution Farming recently added the Leicester dairy, which has opened its doors to farmers and the public, becoming an AhHDB Monitor Farm and taking part in Open Farm Sunday.

Mr Rawson still oversees the management of his home farm near Dewsbury, Yorkshire, as well as the Leicester site and one Lincolnshire farm. 


Source: Farmers Weekly

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