15 December 2000
New guidelines on farm disease risk

By FWi staff

UPDATED guidelines on the risks of disease carried by farm animals have been issued by the Health and Safety Executive.

New information on the dangers from E coli 0157 and salmonella are included in the document, following increased concerns about the bugs.

Last week it was revealed that Ministry of Agriculture checks had found salmonella in 5.3% of pig carcasses.

The guidelines say E coli — which killed 21 people in Scotland in 1996 — is unusual as very few individual organisms are needed to infect humans.

Anyone working with animals is told to wash thoroughly afterwards and leave workwear at the workplace for cleaning to minimise the risk to family members.

Other areas tackled by the report are legal requirements, husbandry practices and good hygiene to control diseases which can affect humans.

The leaflet — Agricultural Information Sheet 2 (rev2) — is aimed at people working on or visiting farms not generally open to the public.

Copies can be ordered online at the HSE books website .