Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Tributes to OAP farmer who died in bull attack

The Foster family farm
The Foster family farm

Tributes have been paid to the elderly farmer gored to death by a bull as he helped herd cattle into a milking shed on his brother's farm.

George Benson Foster, known as Benny, was well-known by the close-knit farming community that straddles the Londonderry-Donegal border where he died on Sunday morning.

It is understood the 71-year-old was helping bring cattle in for milking and the bull was in the herd when it attacked him.

The emergency services were called to the scene but Mr Foster was pronounced dead at Altnagelvin Hospital.

One man who knows the dangers that come with working with farm animals is Keith Roulston, a friend and neighbour of Mr Foster.

The farmer said: “This goes to highlight the risks in farming, whether it is from livestock or machinery.

“Benny was in the wrong place at the wrong time and bulls do get aggressive.

“There is always a feeling of shock and our deepest sympathies go to the Foster family from the whole farming community.”

Derry City councillor Gary Middleton was a close friend of Mr Foster. He said: “I was greatly saddened when I heard the news that Benny had died in such horrendous circumstances.

“Cattle are semi-wild animals and therefore unpredictable and dangerous, and bulls in particular are unpredictable, and no one really has much of a chance against such a heavy animal.”

Mr Foster, who is survived by his two sons George and Scott and his two brothers Jim and John, is expected to be laid to rest later this week.

A spokesman for the Heath and Safety Executive said its investigation is continuing.

Clarifications and corrections

This article stated that a bull which killed George Foster in Londonderry on Sunday had been up for sale at the time.

Mr Foster's son George has asked us to clarify that the animal was never for sale, for any reason. The report also said that the bull had not been removed from the farm.

Mr Foster said the bull was removed from the farm within two hours and taken to an abattoir where it was put down.

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