Aggressive cow killed Cherryville farmhand with deadly head butt

A 49-year-old man from Yellowknife was killed in an accident involving a cow (not the one pictured) in Cherryville July 1, 2014.
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CHERRYVILLE - The death of a Yellowknife man who was attacked by an aggressive cow last summer was an accident, says the B.C. Coroners Service.

Allen Donald Powder, 49, was moving cows from one corral to another at a farm in Cherryville on July 1. He’d worked for the farm owner’s company about 17 years according to the coroners report released June 1, 2015.

Coroner Elizabeth Noble says the owner purchased cows that spring which had 'infrequent contact with humans prior to the purchase and were aggressive in nature.' Some of the cows had calves, and were separated from them because they were going to auction. On the day of Powder’s death, the owner decided to return two cows to the corral with their calves.

“The cows were displaying aggression,” Noble says in her report. “Mr. Powder and the owner used small sticks to hit the cows on the nose when they were aggressive and got too close.”

They managed to chase the first cow from one corral to the other, but when they got to the second cow, it charged the owner, who warded it off by hitting its nose with a stick. The cow then turned and charged Powder, who also hit it on the nose several times.

“The cow stopped and then lunged at him, striking Mr. Powder with his head and lifting him up slightly,” Noble says, adding the cow had horns.

Powder managed to climb over the corral fence and walk roughly 70 feet along it before collapsing. Medical personnel were unable to revive him. He died of blunt force abdominal injuries.

WorkSafe B.C. conducted an investigation and released a hazard alert about safe work practices, which include ensuring workers have an escape route and adequate training for handling cattle.

Noble ruled the death accidental and made no recommendations.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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