A judge has ordered a mart to pay over £20,000 after a horned bull attacked a drover.
McCartneys LLP of The Ox Pasture, Overton Road, Ludlow, appeared before Telford Magistrates’ Court in recent days following an incident on September 16th, 2019.
The court heard that on that date, a drover McCartneys LLP employed was moving livestock at the auction site when a bull attacked him.
He was trying to secure the animal in a pen when the incident occurred and as a result, suffered a serious laceration to his leg.
A Health and Safety Executive investigation found the mart had not “adequately risk assessed” cattle handling activities.
It also said that the work system for moving cattle was “unsafe”.
The bull was identified as “fractious and potentially aggressive”.
The drover was moving him approximately 40 metres to get to designated isolation pens for difficult cattle when the incident arose.
The court heard that segregating staff from the livestock could have eliminated the risk of a bull, potentially agitated by travel and unfamiliar surroundings, injuring a drover.
The mart took “reasonably practicable steps” following the incident.
Fractious bulls can be penned immediately after they are booked in at the cattle crush, avoiding any possible contact with droving staff.
McCartneys LLP pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
The judge ordered them to pay £16,000 and costs to the tune of £5,685.
Avoiding injury or death
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Wendy Campbell said livestock handling can be dangerous due to the unpredictability of animals.
She said that you can injury or death if you adequately assess risks and safe systems of work.
Furthermore, she added that marts must introduce appropriate equipment to ensure that people are segregated from livestock “wherever reasonably practicable”.
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