AN escaped bullock - “on the rampage” after fleeing from a slaughterhouse - was concerning the farming community in Rossendale in the early part of May 1978.

And the authorities were so worried about the threat posed by the 12-month-old French-bred Charollais specimen that people were being warned to “keep well away” if they spotted the creature.

The nine-and-a-half hundredweight bullock had become “extremely excited” as he was being unloaded at the Rawtenstall and Bacup Abattoir in Higher Cloughfold before making a successful bid for freedom.

Before staff lost sight of him, the bullock led them on a winding course through the Newchurch area, including Staghills estate and Bacup Road in Waterfoot.

Though workers immediately gave chase, the animal was too quick for them and ran off towards the nearby hill country.

Police were soon alerted and the hunt continued through the night for the ginger and white-coloured livestock, which was said to stand around 4ft 6in tall.

An abattoir spokesman said: “I must warn people if they see it they must keep well away. This is a very dangerous animal and because it is excited, it could do anything.”

Plans were being made to extend the search to moorland.