A SCOTS farmer has blamed a Baptist Church fireworks display for killing one of his prized cows – leaving a six-month-old calf orphaned.
David Reid of Ethiebeaten Farm in Broughty Ferry, Dundee, likened a 20-minute display to “downtown Basra” and claims it gave his £1,000 cow a heart attack.
He believes the 500kg animal was spooked by the noise, charged a fence and ended up crashing down a 30ft embankment, where he found it dead on Sunday morning.
But organisers of the display, which attracted hundreds of spectators, claim that the fireworks took place too far away from the farm to have any effect on the animals.
The 66-year-old veteran farmer said: “The Baptists had their fireworks party. It went on for about 20 minutes and it wasn’t just the flashing, it was the loud banging.
“It was 20 minutes of downtown Basra, it was like a warzone.
“The church is built in a field that used to belong to our farm so the display was very close by.”
Mr Reid has said that he was not informed of the display prior to its occurrence, and that the first he knew of it was when the fireworks were let off.
He continued: “It was the seventh of November, not the fifth of November.
“I just heard the noise then looked out of the window and said to my wife that we would have trouble with the cattle.
“I was expecting them to have charged through the fences and out on to the road but instead I found a five-year-old cow dead.
“There was a broken bit of fence nearby so it’s obviously crashed into it and then slid about 30-feet down a hill, but we’ll never know what really killed it.
“I’m almost certain it was a heart attack or that it did some damage when it crashed into the fence.”
Mr Reid said he has asked a vet take blood samples to ensure the cow had not died of any natural disease.
If this is not the case, however, it will cost him too much to find out what really killed the animal.
The cow was still weaning its six-month old calf, but Mr Reid said the younger animal will be old enough to survive by itself.
He said: “It’s just something I’m going to have to take on the chin, I will just keep on with my ploughing and deal with it.
“I can’t understand why people don’t have their fireworks displays all on the 5th, they go on for an entire week now and you can feel the ground shake.”
Broughty Ferry Baptist Church minister, the Rev Dr Brian Talbot said it was a “very well organised display” but that he was “very sorry” for any distress caused.
He said: “The event was very well advertised and flyers were put out. It was advertised on social media also.
“From what I understand of the differences between the farm and the field in which the fireworks were held I have serious doubts that the display led to the death of the cow.
“It was an appropriately sized display for a suburb of this size, there were a number of displays on that evening which could have impacted upon the farm.
“Naturally I am very sorry if any animal was caused distress but I am suprised if our display was responsible at that kind of distance.
“I was brought up on a farm and have pets so am sympathetic.”