Public Health England advises pregnant women to avoid close contact with sheep, goats, and cattle around the time the livestock is giving birth. We will display additional signage around these periods.
To avoid the possible risk of infection, pregnant women should:
- not help ewes to lamb, or to provide assistance with a cow that is calving or a nanny goat that is kidding
- avoid contact with aborted or new-born lambs, calves or kids or with the afterbirth, birthing fluids or materials (eg bedding) contaminated by such birth products
- avoid handling (including washing) clothing, boots or any materials that may have come into contact with animals that have recently given birth, their young or afterbirths. Potentially contaminated clothing will be safe to handle after being washed on a hot cycle
- ensure contacts or partners who have attended lambing ewes or other animals giving birth take appropriate health and hygiene precautions, including the wearing of personal protective equipment and clothing and adequate washing to remove any potential contamination.
These infections might include:
- chlamydiosis (enzootic abortion of ewes – EAE)
- toxoplasmosis (causes abortion in ewes)
- listeriosis (causes abortion in ewes)
- Q fever
Although these infections are uncommon, it is important that pregnant women are aware of the risks to prevent infections. Pregnant women should seek medical advice if they experience fever or influenza-like symptoms, or if concerned that they could have acquired infection from a farm environment.