A LAMB which suffered a broken back while being penned at an auction was left to suffer for 29 hours.

Blackburn magistrates said the lamb was described as "shivering, trembling and fitting" after it had been moved to an isolated shippon by yard foreman Christopher John Raw.

But it was not until the following day when another member of staff persuaded the manager to come and look at the animal that it was shot to put it out of its misery.

Raw, 39, of Gisburn Road, Gisburn, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the animal. He was made subject to a curfew for three months between 8 pm and 4 am and ordered to pay £1,000 costs and £85 victim surcharge. The magistrates did not disqualify Raw from keeping animals. They said there were mitigating circumstances which meant the case did not cross the custody threshold and they believed it was an isolated incident.

Nick McNamara, prosecuting for Lancashire Trading Standards, said the incident happened at Gisburn Auction Mart in December 2016. The lamb had been trapped in a gate as it was being penned on a Saturday.

"It was destroyed on the Sunday which means it went untreated for 29 hours," said Mr McNamara. "We say this was a prolonged period of suffering for an animal. We say a vet should have been arranged immediately or the animal should have been put out of its misery immediately."

Mr McNamara said a post-mortem examination showed the lamb's spinal cord had been completely fractured and the animal would have been in pain right up to the moment it was destroyed.

Mr McNamara said it was accepted Raw had told Thomas Robinson, the chairman if the directors, and another director. Mr Robinson had told him to move the animal to a quiet place and monitor it.

"Neither of the directors went to examine the animal," said Mr McNamara.

Paul Huxley, defending, said his client had sought assistance and advice from Mr Robinson who faces a similar charge but has pleaded not guilty.

"He sought that assistance from his boss," said Mr Huxley. "He raised concerns, as he had been told to do, and Mr Robinson said bed it down, give it food and water and lets see how it goes. He did exactly that, rightly or wrongly."

Mr Huxley said his client didn't want to push all the blame onto the company and accepted he should have used his initiative more when he checked on the animal and saw it hadn't moved.

"Not for a second did he want that animal lying there in pain," said Mr Huxley. "He was well intentioned but incompetent and bitterly regrets that day."