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Agriculture: Deaths on the farm hit new high

The number of people killed on farms rose by 40 per cent to hit a six-year high this year, according to official figures published yesterday. A total of 63 deaths, including eight children, was recorded in the 12 months to April - up from 45 the year before.

The biggest rise in fatalities was among self-employed farmers - levels were higher than at any time since new reporting methods were introduced in 1986.

A breakdown of the accidents shows that falling led to most deaths, accounting for 12 fatalities. Other major causes of death were being trapped by something collapsing or overturning, and being hit by a moving vehicle. Five people drowned or were asphyxiated, four were injured by animals and one was killed in a fire.