Cow Kills Young Livestock Veterinarian; Community Devastated at Circumstances of Her Death


A 25-year-old veterinarian was killed Thursday when an unexpected action by a cow she was examining led to injuries that caused her death.

Chiara Santoli was killed at a farm in Custoza, Italy, according to a translation of the report by the Italian-language Verona Sera.

“A tragic accident, a very rare fatality, took the life of a girl who loved animals, precisely because of an animal. It is a heartbreaking story, for which I extend my deep condolences to her family, to all those who loved her and to the category of veterinarians,” Luca Zaia, president of the Veneto Region, said.

“Chiara had chosen to be on the side of the animals to take care of their health and she was doing an internship with an expert veterinarian, following the rules and her loving instinct. A tragic event tore her away from her dream and from her loved ones,” Zaia said.

The report said that in the company of Piergiorgio Buniotto, an experienced veterinarian, Santoli went to the stables of the Corte Vittoria ice cream parlor in Custoza, accompanied by owner Massimo Tabarini.

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During the examination of a cow, the animal made an unexpected move. Santoli was crushed between a railing and the stall box and sustained a blow to her abdomen.

Buniotto tried to revive Santoli, but she soon died as a result of her injuries.

“Chiara was a splendid daughter, she died for the dream of her life,” her father, Giuseppe, said, according to the translation of an Italian-language report on

“There are no words that can alleviate such a great pain as the loss of such a young daughter, while she was doing the work she loved. We cling to family members in this dramatic moment,’ Roverto Mayor Francesco Valduga said. Santoli was a native of the community.

Marco Ghedina of the Order of Veterinarians of the Autonomous Province of Trento said the death of Santoli was a great loss, saying her death “has caused us great sadness.”

“There is great bitterness in all of us on the Board of Directors of the Order for this young colleague,” Ghedina said.

Ghedina said safety protocols can only accomplish so much.

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“Unfortunately, even if safety is always maximum, the variables and unexpected events that are not calculated can unfortunately be fatal, as in this case,” Ghedina said.

Santoli graduated from the Faculty of Medicine and Veterinary of the University of Padua,  according to the website news.italy24.

She had been working as a veterinarian since March after completing an internship working with a veterinarian who had experience with farm animals.

“The news of Chiara’s death at work is shocking,” the National Association of Italian Veterinary Doctors said in a statement.

“The tragedy deeply upsets and saddens the veterinary community,” the statement said, adding that the group  “expresses condolences and closeness to the family. It also hopes for a rapid assessment of the circumstances of this misfortune.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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