Electrocution caused by a fallen electric wire in Korean native cattles

  • Bae, You-Chan (National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service) ;
  • Lee, Kyung-Hyun (National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service) ;
  • Yoon, Soon-Seek (National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service) ;
  • Heo, Jung-Ho (Gyeongnam Livestock Promotion Institute South-branch) ;
  • Lee, O-Soo (National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service)
  • Accepted : 2008.05.30
  • Published : 2008.08.01


We report the electrocution of Korean native cattle by a fallen electric wire, which caused the death of thirteen animals. The owner of the cattle felt an electric shock on touching the steel pen and found a fallen 220-V wire on the roof of the barn; additionally, the roof was singed. Clinically, the animals developed spasm, difficulty breathing, and excessive salivation. Histopathologically, many visceral organs revealed severe congestion or hemorrhage, which is consistent with previous reports. This study revealed that the proper installation of electric wires on farms is essential to prevent economic loss by electrocution.


  1. Aiello SE. Generalized conditions. In: The Merck Veterinary Manual. 8th ed. pp. 478-479, Merck & CO., Whitehouse Station, 1998
  2. Bildfell RJ, Camat BD, Lister DB. Posterior paralysis and electrocution of swine caused by accidental electric shock. J Vet Diagn Invest 1991, 3, 364-367 https://doi.org/10.1177/104063879100300423
  3. Cheville NF. Physical causes of disease. In: Introduction to Veterinary Pathology. 1st ed. pp. 424-426, Iowa State University Press, Ames, 1988
  4. Fox FH. Accidental electrocution of dairy cattle. Cornell Vet 1954, 44, 103-110
  5. Mills JH, Kersting EJ. Accidental electrocution of farm animals. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1966, 148, 647-654
  6. Novales M, Hernandez E, Lucena R. Electrocution in the horse. Vet Rec 1998, 142, 68
  7. Ozmen O, Haligur M. Heart lesions following accidental electrocution of dairy cattle. Vet Rec 2007, 161, 240-241 https://doi.org/10.1136/vr.161.7.240
  8. Radostitis OM, Gay CC, Blood DC, Hinchcliff KW. Diseases caused by physical agents. In: Veterinary Medicine: A Textbook of the Diseases of Cattle, Sheep, Pigs, Goats and Horses. 9th ed. pp. 1565-1567, WB Saunders, London, 2000
  9. Shaw JM. Electrocution of horses and cattle. Vet Rec 1998, 142, 376
  10. Steffen DJ, Schoneweis DA, Nelssen JL. Hind limb paralysis from electrical shock in three gilts. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1992, 200, 812-813