Shropshire heroes saved over 30 cattle from overturned lorry

A team of vets from Shropshire has been praised for their quick actions that saved the lives of over 30 cattle from an overturned lorry.

Shropshire vets, IVC Evidensia Farm Vets, are praised for quick actions that saved the lives of over 30 cattle from an overturned lorry.
Photo by IVC Evidensia UK.

The double-decker vehicle with 40 cattle on board flipped over on a busy A-road in Gobowen on Sunday 7th April, prompting an urgent call to the veterinary teams at Brownlow and Park Issa farm vets.  

The vet team was supported by 15 local farmers and the Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service. The rescue mission resulted in saving the lives of 33 cattle.

Working together

David Martin, clinical director at Brownlow, which is part of IVC Evidensia Farm Vets, and the on-call vet who received the emergency call, hailed the efforts of everyone involved.  
He said: “Responding to emergencies like this is always stressful, but seeing our training in large animal rescue come to life in collaboration with the emergency services and the local farming community was extraordinary.  
“Our deepest thanks go to everyone involved, especially our off-duty Brownlow and Park Issa large animal team, for their remarkable dedication and immediate action. They are all absolute heroes.”  

Photo by IVC Evidensia UK.

It took more than two hours before the team could safely open the lorry’s back door, and about five hours in total to free the last of the cattle.  
Sadly, five of the animals had to be put to sleep at the scene to prevent further suffering, and two others died because of injuries they sustained in the crash.  

Complex incident

Steve Moorhouse, watch manager at Ellesmere Fire Station, described the incident as “complex” and said it was “thanks to the swift response of the vets” in attendance that they successfully managed to rescue the cattle.

He added: “Time was of the essence to remove the animals as quickly as possible, ensuring their safety as well as everyone involved in the incident.”

Photo by IVC Evidensia UK.

The strength of cooperation  

Mr Martin highlighted the significant contributions of the Park Issa vets, Vitoria Hipolito and Suzanne Vos, saying they each played pivotal roles in the rescue operation.

He added: “They both rushed to help on their day off, and their expertise and dedication were crucial in managing the situation. Suzanne stepped in to cover emergency calls, which allowed us to focus on the rescue operation at the crash site.

“This incident really tested our emergency response and, in the end, strengthened it. It was also an invaluable learning opportunity, particularly for team members who hadn’t faced such a large-scale emergency before.”

Vitoria Hipolito, a vet involved in the rescue, said the incident demonstrated the strength of cooperation between vets, the farming community and emergency services.

Photo by IVC Evidensia UK.

She added: “As farm vets, we work shoulder to shoulder with the farming community, and this incident demonstrated that unity.

“It was a complex rescue operation, with five fire and rescue engines on the scene, including Shropshire’s only animal tender, specifically equipped for animal emergencies like this one.

“The livestock lorry had up to nine separate pens, each requiring manual release. As we freed the cows in batches, our joint efforts allowed us to systematically assess, treat, and safely move them into waiting vehicles.”

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