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CASE Helps With Purchase Of Cow Bath!

31st March 2003

An innovative piece of agricultural machinery designed to assist in the treatment of sick or injured cattle is now available for hire in the far north, with help from Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise (CASE).

G, E & A Mowat of Quoynee Farm near Halkirk have been awarded a business development grant worth 1,500 towards the purchase of an Aqua Cow Riser Tank, which can be hired out to vets and other farmers in the area through the Caithness Machinery Ring.

Farmers often have to deal with 'downer cows' - cattle which through sickness or injury are unable to get back on their own four feet themselves. The only other way to lift a cow with Downer Cow Syndrome is by physical means which distresses the animal and can be dangerous from a health and safety perspective.

The Aqua Cow Riser Tank allows the farmer to safely, and with minimum discomfort to the animal, position the cow in the tank where it is then filled with warm water. The cow is left to stand in the tank for approximately eight hours after which the water is drained away and all being well; the cow will be able to take her own weight again.

The Aqua Cow Riser Tank was invented by Danish dairyman John Lastein who, after injuring his knee, received rehab in a hospital pool. He related his physiotherapy treatment to that of 'downer cow' and soon after his accident created a prototype flotation tank. By 1990, the use of the Aqua Cow Riser Tank for the treatment of sick or injured cattle was an established method for Danish vets and in 1995 John Lastein received his United States patent.

Commenting on the purchase of their new equipment, Alan Mowat of G, E & A Mowat said: "No one farm would have enough 'downer cows' to justify having an Aqua Cow Riser Tank of their own. However, the fact that we have one will not only help us to enhance our business by hiring it out, it will also benefit other farmers in the area with the rehabilitation of cows that previously might have been put down."

"The presence of such a piece of equipment in the area will definitely help the local agriculture sector and we are grateful to CASE for their assistance."

Business development manager at CASE, Hilary Budge said: "Over the past few years we have seen lots of diversification in the agriculture sector but few have been as innovative as this. G, E & A Mowat have seized the opportunity to develop their business and offer an extremely valuable service to their farming colleagues throughout the region."