Wednesday, June 29, 2022
NewsLocal NewsOne-armed crofter shears 20 sheep

One-armed crofter shears 20 sheep

A BRAVE crofter who lost an arm in a horrific accident has managed to shear his flock of 20 sheep one-handed.

Determined Don Cameron has made an inspiring video showing how he uses his legs and prosthetic limb to hold the sheep while he clippers off the fleece with his remaining arm.

The 42-year-old feared his farming days were over when his left arm got caught in a hay baler three years ago. The trapped limb had to be amputated, without anaesthetic, using an instrument resembling a cheese wire.

But not only has the dad of two managed to carry on running his croft near Lairg, Sutherland, he has learned how to shear a sheep with one arm in three minutes.

The film of his sheep-shearing has already been viewed 18,000 times and earned him praise and admiration.

Don hard at work
Don hard at work


One fellow crofter wrote: “What an exceptional chap. A tidier job than most of us make with both hands. Well done that man.”

Don’s proud wife, Cara, 41, posted the film to Facebook, writing: “Many of you will know about Don’s accident and how he worried he would never clip sheep again.

“Well after a few summers of practice this year he has managed to clip all of our sheep.”

She added: “For anyone with two arms this is an achievement but for an amputee this is a huge achievement.”

“I’m exceptionally proud. Especially because when he woke up from the accident the first thing he said was, ‘How am I going to clip sheep again?’

“He was only in the hospital for two weeks. The next day [after he got home] he was out checking the sheep.”

After watching the video, a viewer wrote: “You are one of the hardiest lads I know, Big Don. Great job boyo.”

“This man is a true hero,” wrote another admirer.

A third viewer joked: “You missed a bit on the one at the back. Seriously, fantastic job.”

Don lost his arm in September 2012 and spoke about the trauma a year later in a bid to prevent others being hurt in a similar way.


Because he was trapped standing beside the machinery the emergency services couldn’t sediate the crofter before amputating his arm to free him from the baler.

Don explained: “They had tried to back up the rollers manually and a few other things to try to free me, as time was going on, but it wasn’t helping.”

He added: “I’m led to believe that it is a type of cheese wire that they use, and even though I don’t remember how long it took, or the details, but I do remember the excruciating pain.”

A Farm Safety Week initiative was held this month by the Farm Safety Foundation in a bid to try and prevent future farm accidents.

In total of 33 workers and four members of the public were killed on Britain’s farms during 2014/15 with around half being struck or run over by farm equipment, or crushed or trampled by cattle.

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