A livestock auction mart has been fined after an employee was fatally injured when he was struck by a dairy bull he was helping to load onto a lorry.

Preston Magistrates’ Court heard that on August 25, 2017, an employee of Gisburn Auction Marts Ltd. was helping to move a bull and four cows towards a lorry that was waiting.

While trying to load the livestock into the lorry, the bull turned and attacked the employee, causing fatal injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that there weren’t any suitable refuges or barriers within the loading area for those handling the livestock to shelter behind, if for example, cattle became fractious.

The Lancashire mart pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, and was ordered to pay costs of £8,819 and fined £18,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Anthony Banks said: “This incident could so easily have been prevented.

“The bull was able to strike the employee because he had been unable to outrun or out manoeuver the bull and he was unable to seek protection from any form of refuge or barrier when it began to charge.

“The company should have undertaken a suitable and sufficient risk assessment to identify, and put in place, the appropriate control measures.”