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‘If a bull shows any signs of aggression, cull at the earliest opportunity’

Farmers are being urged to consider risks when working with bulls.

Northern Ireland’s Health and Safety Executive’s has launched its second Farm Safe Essential message, ‘Plan Safe Spaces – Don’t be caught out by Bulls’.

Farmers attacked by bulls and newly calved cows remains one of the most common causes of fatalities and major injuries on our farms.

“Over familiarity and complacency when working with bulls, combined with not having a safe route of escape when an attack happens, can often lead to tragic incidents occurring.”


HSENI is proposing the following guidance:

  • NEVER trust a bull, ALWAYS stay alert;
  • ALL breeds of bull are dangerous and can kill;
  • ALL bulls should be ringed from-10 months-old, NEVER ring your own bull;
  • If a bull shows ANY signs of aggression, the farmer MUST cull at the earliest opportunity;
  • A purpose-built bullpen is ESSENTIAL for dairy-bred bulls;
  • Farmers MUST have adequate handling facilities for their bull;
  • Never let the bull into the milking parlour with the cows;
  • When working with a bull work in pairs OR let someone know where you are AND carry a mobile phone in case of emergency;
    When checking livestock and a bull in a field use a vehicle; which can act as a refuge in case of emergency;
  • ALWAYS plan an escape route.
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